Erdogan in Washington
by Stephen Lendman
A thuggish security entourage accompanies his foreign trips, clashing with critics when demonstrations are held.
In April 2016 at Brookings, deplorably invited to speak, they made Washington resemble Ankara, clashing with peaceful demonstrators, protesting his crackdown on press freedom, other human rights abuses, war on Turkish Kurds and support for terrorist groups in Syria.
They assaulted journalists covering his talk, outside and inside the venue, including regime critic Adem Yavuz Arslan. They clashed with DC police after demands to remove protesters were rejected.
During Erdogan’s May 16 White House visit, one of many tinpot despots Trump and congressional leaders support, his thuggish security entourage again instigated street violence, viciously attacking Kurdish protesters.
Twelve people were injured, including a police officer, two arrests made. Diplomatic immunity limits or prevents accountability.
Commenting on the incident, DC police chief Peter Newsham said “we witnessed what appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protesters at the Turkish ambassador’s residence.”
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert issued a weak-kneed statement, saying “(w)e are concerned by the violent incidents involving protesters and Turkish security personnel Tuesday evening.”
“Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest. We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms.”
Expect no further action, words without followup. Newsham said “(w)e are going to pursue everything that’s within our legal power to hold the folks that were responsible for their actions.”
He’s powerless to do anything more than complain. Trump warrants justifiable criticism for meeting with tinpot despot Erdogan at the White House.
Last year, even Obama refused to meet him during his Washington visit. A Trump press secretary statement said they met “to discuss how to further strengthen the deep and diverse relationship between our two countries,” including “the need to work together to confront terrorism” – both countries support left unexplained.
Nothing mentioned about Erdogan’s street thugs assaulting peaceful protesters, nothing about his despotic leadership, nothing about the regional menace he represents.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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