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Erdoğan supporters and critics clash
© AFP

Erdoğan supporters and critics clash

17/05/17Government

Nine people have been injured and two arrested outside the Turkish embassy in Washington, US, after a clash broke out between supporters and opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan met US President Donald Trump for talks on 16 May.

Hours after the meeting, around two dozen protesters gathered outside the ambassador’s residence and traded insults with Erdoğan’s supporters.

Some US reports claim Erdoğan’s protection officers were drawn into the fight after he arrived to visit the ambassador.

Demonstrator Flint Arthur said: “We are protesting [Erdoğan’s] policies in Turkey, in Syria and in Iraq.

“They think they can engage in the same sort of suppression of protest and free speech that they engage in in Turkey.

“They stopped us for a few minutes … but we still stayed and continued to protest Erdoğan’s tyrannical regime.”

He accused the pro-Erdoğan group of breaching police lines and attacking protesters at least three times.

Police intervened to end the violence.

After their meeting, Trump and Erdoğan told a joint press conference they had pledged to strengthen bilateral relations.

“We’ve had a great relationship and we will make it even better,” Trump said.

“We look forward to having very strong and solid discussions.”

However, Erdoğan reiterated that he will never accept a US alliance with Kurdish forces fighting in Syria.

“There is no place for terrorist organisations in the future of our region,” he told journalists.