Gee, this looks familiar. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bodyguards beat up protesters in New York City right before Erdogan said a speech. From The New York Post:

As soon as Erdogan enters the stage a protester can be heard on a Periscope video shouting “You’re a terrorist! Get out of my country!”

The assembly soon turned into a battle royale, with protesters causing mayhem as security guards hurried them out of the room. The demonstrators can be seen being pummeled by punches as they attempt to leave.

From Midtown Manhattan Patch:

Marriott Hotels spokeswoman Kathleen Duffy said the “men in dark suits who were security officers in the ballroom” Thursday afternoon were Erdogan’s guys. They were “hired by the client, not the hotel,” she wrote in an email.

Duffy said she could not personally confirm, however, that the guards punched anyone.

“As President Erdogan was leaving the hotel” around 3 p.m., the police spokeswoman said, “an unknown number of anti-government protesters did clash with pro-government demonstrators in front of the location. As a result of this incident, approximately five demonstrators were briefly detained and released by security assigned to protect President Erdogan.” Everyone then “departed the location,” she said, and the NYPD made no arrests.

Previous Brawl

We have documented the regular human rights violations committed by Erdogan and his government, which include shutting down independent media and jailing journalists (who he insists are terrorists) and academics. Erdogan also does not hide his hatred for the Kurds.

When Erdogan came to America in May, a bunch of protesters showed up outside of the Turkish Embassy to show support for the people that Erdogan has cracked down upon in Turkey. His bodyguards and security deal forgot that in America we have free speech and right to free assembly and decided to beat up these people. At this incident, police officials reported that nine people were hurt and two others were arrested. From The Guardian:

Doug Buchanan, a DC Fire and EMS spokesman, said two of those hurt were seriously injured and were taken to hospitals by ambulance. He said by phone that emergency personnel were called to the residence about 4:30pm Tuesday.

According to witnesses, the brawl erupted when the Turkish president’s security detail attacked protesters carrying the flag of the Kurdish PYD party outside the residence.

In August, a federal grand jury indicted 19 people over the brawl, including 15 bodyguards and Turkish police officers who work for Erdogan. The other four are private citizens. From The Daily Caller:

All 19 of the defendants have been charged with conspiracy to commit a crime of violence with a hate crime enhancement. That felony charge carries a maximum 15 year prison sentence.

Other defendants have been charged with aggravated assault and assault with significant bodily injury.

Despite the indictments, it is unlikely that most of the defendants will face actual jail time. The State Department has barred the Erdogan security officials implicated in the attack from re-entering the U.S.