Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s upcoming visit to Washington this week for talks with U.S. President Donald Trump is already stirring controversy.
The Hill, a local D.C. paper which covers the U.S. Congress, reported on Sunday new documents show that Erdogan’s bodyguards attacked U.S. Secret Service members after they attacked protestors during Erdogan’s last trip to D.C. in 2017.
The new revelations are included in court documents in a lawsuit against Turkey on behalf of the victims of the attacks and “detail violent outbursts against both civilians and U.S. security personnel.”
The report adds that “two diplomatic security special agents, six U.S. Secret Service officers and one MPD officer sustained multiple injuries, with at least one taken to the hospital.”
“I looked up from the fight I was involved,” wrote one diplomatic security agent, “and saw a second fight taking place with another Turkish security personnel who was being flexi-cuffed and subdued for assaulting more U.S. police.”
U.S. security agents later described how seven Turkish security officials jumped out of the convoy to attack a lone female protester.
After the incident in May 2017, a State Department spokeswoman said the United States is communicating concerns to Turkey's government "in strongest possible terms."
According to a local NBC affiliate at the time, Erdogan was inside the building while the violent clashes erupted.
“All of the sudden they just ran towards us,” the report quoted one of the ralliers said at the time. “Someone was beating me in the head nonstop, and I thought, ‘Okay, I’m on the ground already, what is the purpose to beat me?’”
Erdogan’s planned trip to Washington had been put into doubt following votes in the U.S. House of Representatives aiming to sanction Turkey and to recognize the mass killings of Armenians a century ago as genocide.
The votes angered Turkey. But Erdogan’s office said in a statement that the two leaders held a telephone conversation Wednesday during which they “reconfirmed that they will meet in Washington on Wednesday, 13 November, on President Trump’s invitation.”
The statement said that during the call, Erdogan and Trump also “exchanged views on bilateral issues and regional developments.”
Reuters contributed to this report
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