While President Donald Trump will welcome the Turkish leader to the White House on Wednesday, the last visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in May of 2017 still echoes in Washington, D.C., when security guards for the Turkish President openly attacked protesters in an unprecedented act of violence less than two miles from the White House.
With video that showed Erdoğan watching the pitched battle along what's known as "Embassy Row" in the middle of Washington, D.C. - the Turkish leader's planned return drew sharp comments from Capitol Hill in recent days, as none of his guards were ever held accountable for the violence.
"This behavior is sadly routine for President Erdoğan on Turkish soil," said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a letter this week to 'immediately' expel any of the guards involved in that 2017 violence if they are on this week's trip to Washington.
"The Erdoğan regime's use of violence against innocent civilians anywhere is inhumane, uncivilized, and unacceptable," Cheney wrote.
This was what the scene looked like on May 16, 2017, as Turkish security forces broke through police lines, and openly attacked protesters on the streets of the nation's capital.
At least nine people were injured in the attacks, which took place several hours after the Turkish leader met with President Trump.
An in-depth review of multiple videos of the May 16, 2017, violence left no doubt as to the actions of the Erdoğan security detail, with descriptions of guards who 'punched a protestor' or 'kicked man on ground,' and 'knocked over woman, kicked man,' or 'choked, slammed woman.'
In court documents revealed in recent days, U.S. security officials said the Turkish bodyguards also attacked American Secret Service agents during the incident, but were quickly spirited out of the country, and thus avoided any legal charges.
A grand jury in Washington, D.C. indicted 15 Turkish security guards, but most of the charges were ultimately dropped.
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