Videos captured of bodyguards of the president of Turkey punching and kicking American protesters on our soil has incensed many, but a new video has surfaced showing what the president himself was doing as the pandemonium unfolded.
In the video, guards surround a black Mercedes Benz in the foreground while others look out toward an altercation in the background. An agent is leaning into the car, likely speaking to or taking orders from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the backseat.
— Amerika'nın Sesi (@VOATurkish) May 18, 2017
Chanting is heard, and police lights make the presence of law enforcement clear.
As the ugly brawl breaks out, the camera zooms into the background. A crowd walks toward the altercation, and about a minute in, Erdogan appears to step out of the car to get a better look. After a few seconds of watching the fight, he walks away, surrounded by his bodyguards.
The video was captured by Voice of America Turkish.
Erdogan had just finished his meeting with President Donald Trump and was returning to the Turkish ambassador's residence when the fight broke out.
Videos of the incident have angered many in the U.S., given the audacious nature of foreign security personnel beating up Americans who were peacefully protesting against what many see as an emerging totalitarian leader.
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) heavily criticized the action, saying, “I’m still outraged at this Turkish beating. We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America.
“This is the United States of America, this isn’t Turkey, this isn’t a third-world country, and this kind of thing cannot go un-responded to diplomatically and maybe in other ways,” McCain continued, while a guest on MSNBC's Morning Joe.
“After all," he said, "they violated American laws in the United States of America. So, you cannot have that happen in the United States of America. People have the right in our country to peacefully demonstrate and they were peacefully demonstrating.”