Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan watched on Tuesday as his supporters and Turkish security forces violently attacked protesters in Washington, D.C., according to a video posted to Facebook on Thursday afternoon by Voice of America’s Turkish division.
The video shows Erdogan in the back of a car outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence as security officials charged into a crowd of protesters. The Turkish president gets out of his vehicle and looks straight at the chaotic scene behind him.
Earlier on Tuesday, Erdogan met with President Donald Trump at the White House, where the two leaders vowed to repair their countries’ relationship and re-establish an economic and military partnership. After the violence, Arizona Sen. John McCain called for Turkey's ambassador to the U.S. to be "thrown out" of the country.
The violent clash on Tuesday evening left one police officer and 11 other people injured, according to U.S. News and World Report. A previous video from Voice of America showed police officers struggling to protect protesters and ordering the attackers to stop.
Two men were arrested at the scene, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press, and police hope to pursue charges against the other assailants. The State Department and politicians condemned the attack.
“Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, according to the AP. “We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms.”
For their part, the Turkish Embassy blamed the violence on the protesters, the AP reported. Turkish officials said demonstrators were "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the President. The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured."