US lawmakers called on Turkish leader to discipline his security detail, saying violence was reflective of treatment of press, minorities and political opponents
The first sign things could turn violent outside the Turkish ambassadors residence in Washington came when a group of men in trim suits and slick ties approached the small group of demonstrators who had gathered nearby to protest the visit by president Recep Tayyip Erdoan.
They curse us, they curse my wife, my mother, my sister, my grandma, Seyid Riza Dersimi told the Guardian.
Then, suddenly, more men some in suits and some in matching khaki outfits surrounded and attacked Dersimi and his fellow demonstrators.
Dersimi, 61, saw one of these men grab a woman around the neck and start punching her in the face. As he moved to help her, he was attacked by three to four men, who pushed him down then kicked him repeatedly.
I couldnt get up, I tried to cover my head with my arms, I dont know how long they were kicking me, Dersimi said. Then I get up and Im bleeding.
Footage from Tuesdays protest shows extraordinary scenes of violence in the Washington sunshine. The attackers who included members of Erdoans security detail run amok, beating and kicking protesters.