A BRAWL erupted outside the residence of Turkey’s ambassador to Washington following a White House visit by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan supporters and security guards clashed with Kurdish and Armenian protesters who accuse him of human rights abuses – leaving nine in hospital with one in a critical condition.
Two people were arrested as Erdogan and Trump attempted to improve relations between their countries.
The Turkish president stopped by the ambassador’s residence in the upscale Sheridan Circle neighbourhood, where protests prompted city officials to shut down nearby streets.
Yazidi Kurd demonstrator Lucy Usoyan told ABC: “All of the sudden they just ran towards us.
“Someone was beating me in the head non-stop, and I thought, ‘OK, I’m on the ground already, what is the purpose to beat me?’”
Washington police eventually sent reinforcements and restored order, but emergency services said nine people were taken to the hospital, one of them in critical condition.
Police managed to keep the rival groups apart at first, but they were eventually forced out of the way.
Erdogan’s security detail reportedly attacked protesters carrying the flag of the Kurdish PYD party.
The Turkish government believes the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units in Syria are simply the Syrian arm of the PKK, which has waged a deadly insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.
Since the 1980s, Kurdish movements have included both peaceful political activities for basic civil rights for Kurds in Turkey as well as armed rebellion and guerrilla warfare, including military attacks aimed mainly at Turkish military bases, demanding first a separate Kurdish state and later self-determination for the Kurds.
In April last year a huge car bomb killed at least 11 at a police station in Turkey – with scores more wounded.
The devastating explosion hit the south-eastern town of Cizre.
Videos from Tuesday’s protests showed people from both sides shouting and being punched – with each side accusing the other of being the aggressors.