Again: American protesters stomped at Erdogan event in New York City
It’s not as clear this time who did the stomping as it was when Erdogan’s goons rushed protesters outside the embassy in D.C. in May, but the basics are clear enough. He was in town today for the UN Assembly and stopped by an event in Manhattan organized by the Turkish American National Steering Committee. A few protesters stopped by too. You can hear one of them yell “terrorist!” at him plain as day in the first clip below. After that it’s chaos — the protester is swallowed up by the crowd, another protester is whacked repeatedly in the head as he’s hauled out of the venue, all while Erdogan watches placidly. I don’t think it’s just his own security people who are doing the punching and kicking here. This is a strongman autocrat with his own cult of personality; some spectators in that hall were happy to get in a shot to avenge the great man’s wounded honor, I’m sure.
He’s also a guy who claimed with a straight face today that most of the journalists he’s locked up in Turkey since the coup attempt last year are “terrorists.” He used that same word to describe the protesters at the TASC event, as you’ll see. Meanwhile, elsewhere, Trump couldn’t say enough nice things about him:
Trump said it was “a great honor” to host Erdogan Thursday for a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He said that the Turkish president “is becoming a friend of mine” and that “he is running a very difficult part of the world.”
“Frankly he’s getting very high marks,” Trump said, sparing Erdogan any public admonition over international concerns about election violations and human-rights abuses. “He’s also been working with the United States,” Trump said. “We have a great friendship and the countries — I think we’re right now as close as we’ve ever been.” Trump added that “a lot of that has to do with a personal relationship.”
He’s an Islamist with near-dictatorial power whose fans and guards have beaten Americans on American soil not once, not twice, but three times at least in the past 18 months. What does the sultan need to do to get President America First mad at him? Will Trump complain to him about today’s brawl or would that be absurd given his own history?
Exit question: How confident are we now that Erdogan was lying when he claimed that Trump apologized to *him* after the embassy melee in May?