It was horrifying to watch Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s personal bodyguards attack Americans Tuesday afternoon, on American soil, sending nine people to the hospital. We told you about it here, in the context of Lyin’ Mike Pence deleting a stupid tweet about his nice Dinner With Erdogan once news of the savage beatings broke.
But we got one small but important detail very wrong in that story. The Turkish bodyguards weren’t attacking protesters right at the moment Trump, Pence and Erdogan were dining together. We know that now because Erdogan was in fact in the back of his Mercedes, ordering his bodyguards to do violence.
Philip Bump at the Washington Post has the Zapruder, with various bodyguards leaning down to the car to receive instructions from Erdogan — who later emerged from the back seat — and then rushing off to start choking women until blood vessels in their eyeballs burst and kicking old men until their teeth fell out.
The Turkish state news agency Anadolu explained that the bodyguards did in fact assault women and old men, because while Kurdish protesters chanted mean slogans,
“[Washington DC] Police did not heed Turkish demands to intervene,” Anadolu said, as The Post has reported, so the guards moved in to “disperse them.”
They sure did.
Here, for the opposite of your enjoyment, is Turkish President Recep Erdogan giving orders from the back of his Mercedes (via Voice Of America News).
— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) May 18, 2017
Last year, President Erdogan’s bodyguards beat journalists and fought with the Secret Service in DC; in 2011, they fought with guards at the United Nations. Sometime or other, they fought at a funeral.
The State Department summoned the Turkish Ambassador to let him know “in the strongest possible terms” that it is considered uncouth to kick the shit out of protesters in America, except when it is not; there has been no statement from President Donald Trump, who warmly congratulated Erdogan for his recent electoral “win” and whose disgraced former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, was fired after news was leaked that he had taken $600,000 from Turkey while receiving national security briefings; who plotted to kidnap a Turkish cleric from his American home on behalf of Erdogan; and who nixed a plan for a military raid on ISIS that would have gone against Turkey’s policy wishes.
President Trump leaves for the Middle East today.