Did Erdogan order attack on protestors in Washington?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exits his vehicle after seemingly giving instructions for the attack on demonstrators, 16 May 2017 (VOA)

A new video released by Voice of America Kurdish Service apparently shows Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan giving his security detail the order to launch an attack on Kurdish and Armenian protestors in Washington on Tuesday.

The attack by Erdogan’s bodyguards on what US officials have termed “peaceful protestors” resulted in injury to 11 people and arrest of two.

Described by US media as “savage” and “brutal” the attack has led to several top senators, including John McCain calling for the expulsion of Turkey’s US ambassador.

Meanwhile the Washington Post ran an editorial entitle “A note to Erdogan and his thugs: You can’t beat up protesters here,” and called for the security involved in violence against demonstrators to be identified and, if possible, prosecuted or, if shielded by diplomatic immunity, declared persona non grata in the US.

Activists had taken to social media with the hashtag #ArrestErdogansBodyguards on Wednesday to demand the individuals involved in the melee be detained before they leave the country.

One of the protestors who was choked by security officer and threatened with death launched the campaign.

The force of the choke was so severe that a vein in her eye had popped, Borazan told media. Another female protestor who was kicked in the head had to be taken to hospital a second time due to concussion.

The recent video, shot from a different angle and published on Thursday night, shows President Erdogan in his car conferring with a bodyguard who then seems to give orders to another officer upon which the attack begins. Erdogan then exits the vehicle and watches the commotion before walking to the ambassador’s residence.


American social media users as well as politicians and mainstream media have criticised US President Donald Trump for his silence on the issue.

Turkish officials have not made any public comments on the incident, however pro-government Turkish media has portrayed it as an “intervention against terrorists.”

A counter hashtag, #PKKyaOsmanliTokadi, was launched to celebrate the attack.