President Donald Trump said Thursday that he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "have a great friendship". "And he's also been working with the United States", Trump said before their bilateral sit-down.
On May 16, 2017 Erdoğan's security detail had been caught in video footage viciously beating up protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C., during an official visit to the US. Soon after he was gone, a second man followed suit and also was repeatedly punched and hit over the head with Turkish flags as he was led outside by US security.
One of the protesters, Meghan Bodette, told the The New York Times: "Erdogan should not be able to speak here unchallenged, and we challenged him because the American people need to know that a state that claims to be our ally is hindering the fight against ISIS in Syria and destroying civilian lives".
Ergodan then asked the crowd to calm down and said, "My dear brothers, my dear brothers, my dear brothers, I have an important request from you: Don't let three to five impertinent people, three to five hall terrorists ruin our lovely gathering".
Another demonstrator unfurled a banner for a banned Kurdish group and was escorted out.
Shortly thereafter, video shows one individual being hit repeatedly by members of the crowd as he is led out of the ballroom. He went on to call the demonstrators "terrorists". Erdogan returned the praise, and said through a translator that described Trump as "my dear friend Donald".
With Erdogan in NY this week, it appears that his security team has once again gotten violent with protesters who showed up at an event.
"I'm very sorry about that", Erdogan told Judy Woodruff of PBS Newshour in a clip released Tuesday. Brookings staff intervened so that the journalist could stay, as he was credentialed to be at the event.
In a written statement regarding the meeting organized by the Prime Ministry's Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) and hosted by the EastWest Institute, Erdoğan met high-level representatives of companies operating in many sectors, such as information, pharmaceuticals, aviation, food, finance and energy, in NY where he was to attend the 72nd UN General Assembly.