On the 16th of May, theocratic Turkish president (now dictator who can rule by decree) Erdogan showed up at the White House for an official visit with Trump on the subject of terrorism. Outside, supporters of the Kurdish YPG fighters who have nearly defeated Daesh(ISIS) in Kurdish territory protested, reminding all that Erdogan is widely believed in Kurdistan to be aiding ISIS under the table. Supporters of the Turkish theocrat counterprotested-and someone in the police gave them the space closer to the White House before cops decided to close both the street and half of the park.
The park was closed first, even though the Erdogan supporters in the street were the side closest to the White House. A portion of the park further back either stayed open or was reopened, but at first cops were demanding everyone move all the way back to H st.
In addition to Kurdish YPG supporters, Armenians also participated in the protest due to the still-unresolved matter of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Protesters chanted that Erdogan is a terrorist and that Turkey and ISIS are the same. Erdogan became a dictator with the passage of the April 2017 referendum that permits him to rule by decree-something Trump can only dream of as Federal courts slap down his racist and bigoted executive orders.
Later in the day, protesters in the Sheridan Circle area near the Turkish Embassy were beaten and kicked in the head by Erdogan’s security squad. Victims of the assault included at least one well-known DC anticapitalist activist as well as others opposed to Erdogan’s fascism and dictatorial behavior. DC Police were ineffective at stopping the assault, possibly due to limitations in their unarmed combat skills. The tackles and kicks to the head took place so fast police would probably have had to have to resort to projectiles or pepper spray to stop the assault, and pepper spray cannot be fired into a melee without hitting both sides. Anyway, the cops were slow on the jump, with the result that the attackers were ahead of them. Two were arrested after having already carried out their assaults, the State Dept claims to be investigating the identities of the others. Probably most of the attackers will cower behind diplomatic immunity. This is at least the second time Erdogan’s security goons have done this. Probably the only way to stop this is to declare all of his security forces PNG or “persona non grata” unless they agree to give up diplomatic immunity. Also, an embassy that becomes a source of violent crimes can be ordered closed.
There is also the hypocrisy of police chief Newsham saying “this is not something we will tolerate in Washington DC. This is a city where people should be allowed to come and peacefully protest.” This while Newsham was responsible for kettling and mass arresting over 200 people for protesting on Jan 20. Also, he is surely aware of the likelihood that Erdogan’s armed and violent bullies are protected by diplomatic immunity. Thus it is likely Newsham spoke without the intention of ever having to back up his works.
The YPG is one of the very few military forces in the Middle East that has been able to handle Daesh on the battlefield. They are organized in a decentralized, locally based manner to such an extent that they have the support of antiauthoritarian socialists and anarchists globally. In Summer and Fall 2016, at least five North American anarchists gave their lives in Kurdistan fighting against Daesh’s brand of theocracy and to defend exactly the kind of organizing model anarchists support. Meanwhile, the US also supports the YPG with arms despite the ideological differences because ISIS is directly at war with the US and the only alternatives in Syria with any real miitary power left are Assad and the Nusra Front (former al-Qaeda).
Erdogan (via his goons) is literally kicking and screaming about this support even while he and Trump have been compared to oneanother. It was Erdogan who chose to restart what had been an ended decades long war between Turkey and the PKK. In response to an attack inside Turkey by Daesh, Erdogan launched not only raids on ISIS suspects but on Kurdish groups as well. This while he is widely suspected in Kurdistan of supporting Daesh under the table because he too is a theocrat or an advocate of unity of religion and state. The YPG is secular and decentralized, supporting locally based community organization instead of state power and religious hate.
The earlier duelling protests between pro-YPG and pro-Erdogan protests at the White House