Posted by Curt on 23 May, 2017 at 7:25 pm. 3 comments already!


Rich Lowry:

The Turkish government is obviously familiar with the concept of “chutzpah,” if not necessarily the word.

Ankara summoned the American ambassador to protest allegedly “aggressive and unprofessional actions” by the Washington, DC, police. Their offense? Intervening after Turkish security personnel mauled peaceful protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington last week.

Video of the incident is jaw-dropping. About a dozen people protested Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — arriving at the ambassador’s residence after a White House visit — from a safe distance across the street.

A safe distance, it turned out, for Erdogan, not the demonstrators. His guards suddenly rushed en masse past the DC cops to beat up the demonstrators.

The neutral language of press accounts can obscure the truth of what happened. The two sides didn’t “clash” or “engage in a violent confrontation,” as is often reported. There was a clear aggressor — the thuggish security personnel of the head of state of, amazingly enough, a NATO country.

The guards repeatedly kicked in the face a man who had been thrown to the ground. They put a woman in a headlock. Dressed in black suits, they behaved like drunken British soccer hooligans or antifa agitators. Clearly, assaulting innocent people is a core competency.

This incident, which injured 11, is not the most consequential event in the world. It’s not the Syrian war or a North Korean missile test.

We have large national interests at stake with Turkey, especially in navigating the complex currents in the Syrian civil war. But it’s not nothing, either. It deserves more than State Department statements of “concern.”

Especially given the context. The guards didn’t lash out on their own. They charged under the watchful eye of President Erdogan, who was sitting in a black Mercedes-Benz and emerged to observe the assault. The Daily Caller contends, based on audio analysis, that Erdogan himself may have given the order for the attack.

This is the second offense for the Turks. A year ago, they beat up protesters and disfavored journalists outside an Erdogan talk at the Brookings Institution in Washington. One reporter wrote of that earlier incident, “never seen anything like this.” If you hang around President Erdogan long enough, though, you’ll see it all.

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