Erdogan protesters beaten and ejected from New York speech | 2017-09-23 |

Erdogan protesters beaten and ejected from New York speech

Sun Online Desk     23rd September, 2017 10:11:12 printer

Erdogan protesters beaten and ejected from New York speech


Violence erupted at a New York hotel after protesters heckled a speech by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with chants of "terrorist".


Mr Erdogan was addressing supporters in Turkish at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square when he was interrupted by several demonstrators.


"You're a terrorist, get out of my country," one protester shouted before he was punched and dragged away.


Mr Erdogan is in New York for the UN General Assembly.


In footage from the speech on Thursday, protesters are seen being pushed and punched in the head as they are ejected from the venue by suited men.


It is not clear at this stage if they were pro-Erdogan attendees, presidential bodyguards, or guards providing security at the hotel.


The demonstrators, who later posted images of the clashes on social media, said their aim was to publicly condemn the president's policies in Turkey, Syria and Iraq.


Some protesters carried flags and banners in support of the Kurdish militant group, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).


Mr Erdogan sees the YPG as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for three decades. He has repeatedly said that he will never accept a US alliance with Kurdish forces fighting in Syria.


Supporters of Mr Erdogan can be heard shouting the president's name in the footage, in attempts to muffle the protesters' chants.


One protester, Meghan Bodette, wrote on Twitter that she had been "thrown out" of the hotel.


"Yes. I stood up with YPJ flag... was pulled from chair and removed," she wrote, adding: "I got escorted out and ran, some friends were briefly questioned."


The YPJ is an all-female Kurdish military group - the women's equivalent of the YPG.



Mr Erdogan was speaking at the invitation of the Turkish American National Steering Committee.


The New York Police Department said that about five protesters had been "briefly detained" but that no arrests were made.


Source: BBC