Turkish security manhandles journalists at Washington event
WASHINGTON – The Associated PressTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s security guards tussled with several journalists covering his speech at the Brookings Institution on March 31 in Washington, where he was to attend a nuclear security summit.
Turkish security officials tried to remove Turkish journalist Adem Yavuz Arslan from the venue of the speech, while the policy institute’s security guards intervened, asking the Turkish officials to leave the room.
Earlier, Turkish officials had stopped the journalist - who works for opposition media - from entering.
A second Turkish journalist, Emre Uslu, said Erdoğan’s bodyguards kicked him in the leg, injuring him outside the event and prevented him from attending. He said he was left bloodied by the kick to his leg and could not get by security to attend, although he was on the guest list.
Uslu is under trial in Turkey for being a member of an alleged terrorist organization, of which U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen is accussed of being the leader.
Another journalist, Amberin Zaman, a former Turkey correspondent for The Economist, said the Turkish security detail called her a “PKK whore” as she was standing outside the event. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is outlawed in Turkey and which the United States and EU classify as a terrorist organization.
Protesters, many criticizing Turkish treatment of its Kurdish citizens, gathered outside the Brookings event before Erdoğan’s arrival. A Turkish Embassy official declined to comment on the incidents at the event.