|MAIN АКИpress CA-News||ADVERTISE WITH US SUBSCRIBE|
AKIPRESS.COM - The State Department said Wednesday that it has told the Turkish government in the "strongest possible terms" its concerns over violent clashes outside the Turkish ambassador's Washington residence between protesters and guards for visiting Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, US Today reported.
Washington D.C. police chief Peter Newsham said the melee, which broke out Tuesday afternoon, "appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protests."
"Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protests," he said.
The protests appeared to involve protesters angry over Erdogan's crackdown on dissent, as well as activists and supporters of a pro-Kurdish political party in Turkey that has been targeted by the president's increasingly authoritarian government. Armenian protesters were also demonstrating.
Eleven people were injured in the clashes, including one police officer. NIne of them were hospitalized, said Newsham, who said fire department personnel had to be called in to help quell the disturbance that spilled into the street and a nearby square.