- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 17, 2017

One of the Kurdish protesters beat up outside the Turkish Ambassador’s residence says action must be taken against the bodyguards of the Turkish President or the next time they’ll commit “much worse” violent acts.

“If we let those people come back here, easily, the next time those people can shoot us because every time it gets worse and worse, they wouldn’t stop it,” said Mehmet Tankan, 31, who shared video his friend took showing his own assault.

Both U.S. and Turkish officials confirmed that men from Mr. Erdogan’s security team took part in Tuesday’s violent confrontation. Police categorized the original protest, led by pro-Kurdish and anti-Erdogan demonstrates, as peaceful and then attacked by “radicalized protestors.”

“One of them he just came to me, attacked me and I tried to protect myself,” Mr. Tankan said in an interview with The Washington Times. “There were more than seven people, they came and were punching me all over my body, head, face, everywhere. They punched me a lot. Two police tried to save me, still they were attacking me.”

In the video, Mr. Tankan is seen in the distance in a white shirt fighting with two men. It’s unclear how the fight began but what is apparent is that as more men join the fight they all attack Mr. Tankan. At one point he is surrounded by at least five men, in suits and ties and khaki pants and green shirts, who kick and punch at a surrounded Mr. Tankan. Two D.C. police officers run over and pull Mr. Tankan out, corralling around him and walking him away.

Mr. Tankan was taken to the hospital for treatment but was released.

The violence was condemned by police and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser as an attack on freedom of speech in the U.S.

“These people they didn’t just attack the Kurds in D.C., they attacked the American Constitution, too,” Mr. Tankan said.

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