Washington D.C. Mayor Condemns Erdogan’s Security Detail Led Assault Against Peaceful Protesters

State Department Offers ‘Weak and Ineffective’ Response

WASHINGTON—Attacks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail against peaceful human rights protesters on May 16 have been condemned by Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who, along with D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham, has launched an investigation into the unprovoked beatings, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Scenes from the pro-Erdogan forces’ May 16 attack on peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C., which left several bloody and at least nine requiring medical assistance. (Photo: ANCA)

“What we saw yesterday—a violent attack on a peaceful demonstration—is an affront to D.C. values and our rights as Americans,” said Mayor Bowser in a statement issued earlier today.  “I strongly condemn these actions and have been briefed by Chief Newsham on our response. The Metropolitan Police Department will continue investigating the incident and will work with federal partners to ensure justice is served.”

Police Chief Newsham stated, “The actions seen outside the Turkish Embassy yesterday in Washington, D.C. stand in contrast to the First Amendment rights and principles we work tirelessly to protect each and every day.” Noting that there have been two arrests already in the case, Newsham explained that “we have every intention to pursue charges against the other individual involved.”

“We commend Mayor Bowser and Police Chief Newsham for taking the lead in condemning this vicious attack on peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C. and look forward to working closely with federal and metropolitan law enforcement officials to ensure that justice is served,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.  “President Erdogan may be able to get away with similar attacks and repression in Turkey—but we simply cannot allow him to export his brand of hatred and repression to our nation’s capital or anywhere in the U.S.”

This afternoon, the State Department announced it was “concerned by the violent incidents involving protesters and Turkish Security personnel on Tuesday evening,” stating that “violence is never an appropriate response to free speech.”

Hamparian condemned the State Department statement as “weak and ineffective—and, frankly, embarrassing.”

“Apparently, as far as the State Department is concerned, there is no line that Recep Erdogan cannot cross,” explained Hamparian. “He sent his goons to D.C. to rough up Americans and suppress the free speech rights of U.S. citizens, and all the State Department can muster is a generic expression of opposition to violence.”

Hamparian was videotaping live at the scene of the May 16th attack, which took place in front of the Turkish Ambassador’s residence where, according to the Daily Caller, President Erdogan was scheduled to have a closed door meeting with representatives of The Atlantic Council, a leading think tank in Washington D.C. which receives funding from Turkey.

Hamparian’s video showed pro-Erdogan forces crossing a police line and beating peaceful protesters—elderly men and several women—who were on the ground bleeding during most of the attack.

Hamparian’s video is available below.

Voice of America Turkish division, in their video coverage shot from the vantage point of the Turkish Ambassador’s house, reported that the attackers belonged to President Erdogan’s security detail and were responsible for escalating the violence.

“The fights flared up after President Erdogan’s arrival at the Embassy residence,” reported Voice of America. “After the first bout of fights died down, Erdogan’s special security forces joined the second stage of fights. Fisticuffs and kicks ensued. The Washington Police Forces had great difficulty in preventing the fights. They had to use batons against Erdogan’s security forces.”

The Turkish language news item is available at:


Since reporting on the attacks by President Erdogan’s security forces, the ANCA has been receiving threatening phone calls and messages on social media.  These intimidation tactics have been reported to the Metropolitan Police and other authorities and are under investigation.

The protests in front of the Turkish Ambassador’s house were a continuation of a demonstration held earlier in the day in front of the White House as President Trump met with President Erdogan. Human rights and religious rights groups were joined by representative of the Kurdish, Yezidi and Armenian communities to call attention to the Erdogan regime’s escalating repression against free press, the Kurdish and other ethnic communities, as well as, Turkey’s ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. Nonsense. It was the fault of HER own DC cops.

    Look at the video.

    The video shows Turks beating and kicking a man who is lying on the grass.

    The DC cop is just standing there, and then tells the Turk to move away without holding or arresting the Turk.

    The mayor and the cops must share the blame.

  2. There in nothing left about American values. Turkish oppression has reached and shines at the capital of USA nearby white house. Our leaders believe that US and Turkey share the same values. Enjoy America!
    I am ashamed being an American!

  3. This is rubbish. DC cops never tried to apprehend or arrest Turkish attackers. A cop standing near a Turk kicking a man who is lying on the ground did NOTHING to the abuser. One other cop was seen pushing a Turkish bodyguard back to the rest of Erdogan’s entourage. But if during next April 24 commemoration Armenians (hypothetically speaking) will attack the Turks, they will, as sure as death, be arrested… Right, America “the Great”?

  4. I thought president Trump said American citizens people first not other countries coming here to united states and beating up citizens that are practicing the first amendment freedom off speech, SO WHEN IS isis coming to do the same?????????????????

  5. But if anything similar will happen in any other country of the world I can imagine what loud woof-woof will emanate from the State Department… Right? Right!

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