TURKISH presidential bodyguards violently attacked pro-Kurdish protesters in Washington on Tuesday after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Donald Trump.
Demonstrators rallied outside the Turkish embassy in the afternoon, some carrying flags of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its militia the YPG.
They were met by another group carrying printed placards reading: “Stop PKK-YPG/ PYD-Isis terror.”
Those referred to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Turkey has been waging a brutal military campaign against in its wider suppression of the Kurds both within and without Turkey’s borders.
Meanwhile Kurdish forces have actively fought the Isis death cult in Syria and Iraq.
Washington police refused to identify the two groups which came to blows, but the Daily Telegraph and the Kurdish Kom News website both reported that bodyguards emerged from the embassy to start fighting.
Protesters, including women, were knocked to the ground, kicked and punched before police intervened.
Nine people were hurt, two seriously. Two were arrested, one for assaulting a police officer.
Demonstrator Flint Arthur told TV reporters: “We are protesting [Erdogan’s] policies in Turkey, in Syria and in Iraq.
“They think they can engage in the same sort of suppression of protest and free speech that they engage in in Turkey. They stopped us for a few minutes … but we still stayed and continued to protest Erdogan’s tyrannical regime.”
Mr Trump reiterated his support for Turkey, which is a Nato ally, despite the US being criticised by Turkish officials for supplying weapons to the Syrian YPG.
A newspaper linked to Mr Erdogan’s AKP party has demanded US troops be evicted from the Ircirlik air base, shortly after German politicians urged their country’s air force to pull out after Turkey blocked a visit by German MPs.