Supporters and opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey engaged in a violent confrontation outside the Turkish embassy in Washington on Tuesday night. Nine people were injured and taken to a hospital, the District of Columbia’s fire and emergency medical services said on Twitter.
Photos and videos on social media showed a melee of people kicking and punching as the police tried to intervene. At one point, a man threw a bullhorn, two men could be seen bleeding from the head, and another man was on the ground being violently kicked.
The fighting sprawled into a park across the street as uniformed police officers, some in helmets and swinging collapsible batons, tried to restore order.
The Turkish embassy spokesman, Aydan Karamanoglu, could not immediately be reached on Wednesday morning, and the Metropolitan police did not immediately respond to a phone message. News accounts said two people had been arrested.
The VOA Turkish reported that a group of Kurdish protesters clashed with supporters of the Turkish president and that his security guards got involved in the fighting.
A group of demonstrators started to chant anti-Erdogan slogans and held up placards that read “Free Demirtas,” a reference to Selahattin Demirtas, the jailed leader of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or H.D.P.
A separate group waving Turkish flags arrived and started chanting slogans in support of Mr. Erdogan, the VOA reported. The verbal stand off then turned physical.
The skirmish came after President Trump welcomed Mr. Erdogan on Tuesday to the White House and praised him as a stalwart ally in the battle against Islamic extremism, ignoring Mr. Erdogan’s authoritarian crackdown on his own people and brushing aside recent tensions between the United States and Turkey over how to wage the military campaign against the Islamic State.
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