Turkish president’s bodyguards batter Washington DC protesters leaving them covered in blood while leader meets Trump at the White House

Turkish President Erdogan’s security detail, seen here in dark suits, clashed with Kurdish protesters in Washington DC

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.

Turkish President Erdogan’s security detail, seen here in dark suits, clashed with Kurdish protesters in Washington DC

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.

Turkish President Erdogan’s security detail, seen here in dark suits, clashed with Kurdish protesters in Washington DC

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.

Turkish President Erdogan's security detail, seen here in dark suits, clashed with Kurdish protesters in Washington DC IMAGE: TWITTER / BALTIMORE BLOC A Kurd protester is repeatedly kicked on the ground in the terrifying scenes IMAGE: TWITTER / BALTIMORE BLOC A Kurdish supporter is flattened in the fighting. The Kurds accuse the Turkish government of human rights violations against them IMAGE: TWITTER / BALTIMORE BLOC Cops tried to keep the rival factions apart but they could not stop violence from erupting IMAGE: TWITTER / BALTIMORE BLOC Video shows Erdogan’s bodyguards pummelling the protesters and kicking them on the ground IMAGE: TWITTER / BALTIMORE BLOC A Washington DC cop tries to bring the chaotic scene under control IMAGE: TWITTER / BALTIMORE BLOC The fights took place outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in the upscale Sheridan Circle neighbourhood IMAGE: TWITTER / BALTIMORE BLOC US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES A large crowd of Erdogan's supporters waving Turkish flags confronted the Kurdish and Armenian supporters

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.

Breaking: Wikipedia banned in Turkey

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, cut off Wikipedia

Turkey has blocked all access inside the country to the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia.

Officials said “an administrative measure” had been taken, but gave no reason why.

Turkish media said authorities had asked Wikipedia to remove content by writers “supporting terror”.

Turkey has temporarily blocked social media sites including Facebook and Twitter in the past, usually following protests or terror attacks.

The Turkey Blocks monitoring group said Wikipedia was unreachable from 08:00 (05:00 GMT). People in Istanbul were unable to access any pages without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

“After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651 [governing the internet], an administrative measure has been taken for this website,” Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority was quoted as saying, giving no further details.

However, the Hurriyet daily newspaper said Wikipedia had been asked to remove content by certain writers whom the authorities accuse of “supporting terror” and of linking Turkey to terror groups. The site had not responded to the demands, Hurriyet said, and the ban was imposed as a result.

Turkey Blocks and Turkish media, including Hurriyet, said the provisional order would need to be backed by a full court ruling in the next few days.

It’s become all too familiar here: the endless “loading” icon followed by the message “server timed out”.

Blocking websites is a common tool of the Turkish authorities: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have suffered the same fate several times, and numerous anti-government sites are inaccessible.

Critics say it smacks of Turkey’s repression of free speech: over half of all requests to Twitter to remove content have come from Turkey, and the country now ranks 155 of 180 in the press freedom index of the watchdog Reporters without Borders.

Social media was in uproar as news of the ban emerged, with some users speculating that it might be a bid to suppress criticism on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Wikipedia page.

Mr Erdogan narrowly won a controversial 16 April referendum on increasing his powers, but the issue has deeply divided the country.

One Twitter user noted that the Wikipedia page on Turkey’s referendum has a section on “controversies and electoral misconduct”, and cites claims that the government suppressed the No campaign through “arrests, control of the media and political suppression”.

The Turkish government has previously denied censoring the internet, blaming outages on spikes in usage after major events.

Wikipedia has also faced censorship in other countries, including a temporary ban in Russia, and repeated crackdowns in China.

Source: BBC

Russian Navy ship sinks near Turkey

Russian Navy ship sinks near Turkey

A reconnaissance ship from the Russian navy’s Black Sea Fleet has sunk after colliding with another vessel off the coast of Turkey, Russian state media said Thursday.

All 78 crew members on board the 1,560-ton Liman were rescued alive and well, the state-run RT news outlet said, citing Turkish coast guard officials and Russian authorities.

The Russian crew members are being transferred from a Turkish coast guard boat to a Russian ship, RT said.

The Liman’s hull was breached in a collision near the Bosphorus Strait with a Togo-flagged ship carrying livestock, Russia’s state-run Tass news agency said. That vessel was not damaged and did not need help.

An earlier statement from the Russian Defense Ministry said the Liman had been breached below the waterline on the starboard side and that its crew were fighting to keep it afloat, state-run news outlet Sputnik reported.

The collision occurred just before noon Moscow time (5 a.m. ET) about 25 miles northwest of the Bosphorus Strait, the statement said.

RT said the Liman was a Soviet-era ship commissioned in the 1970s and built in Poland. “It is mostly unarmed, but carries a radar station, a hydroacoustic detector and other reconnaissance equipment needed to track surface ships and submarines,” it said.

Source: CNN

BREAKING: Turkey suspends 9,000 police in crackdown

Members of the Turkish police escort suspects of the Gulen movement during nationwide operations, in Kayseri city, Turkey, 26 April 2017.

Turkey’s police force has suspended more than 9,000 officers over alleged links to the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

It said the action had been taken on the grounds of national security.

President Tayyip Erdogan accuses Mr Gulen of instigating a failed coup against him last July – a charge the cleric denies.

Earlier, authorities detained more than 1,000 people in the latest operation against alleged Gulen supporters.

The nationwide sweep was one of the largest such operations carried out in Turkey in months.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said it had targeted a Gulen network “that infiltrated our police force, called ‘secret imams'”.

He said more than “secret imams” had been detained and the operation was continuing.

In the aftermath of the 15 July coup attempt, which was led by military officers, 40,000 people were arrested and 120,000 sacked or suspended.

They included soldiers, police, teachers, and public servants – all of whom were accused of having links with militant groups.

he latest purge comes just over a week after President Erdogan narrowly won a controversial referendum on increasing his powers.

Opponents fear the victory, which has bitterly divided Turkey, brings him closer to authoritarian rule.

Two days after the referendum, Turkey’s parliament extended a nine-month state of emergency by a further three months.

Source: BBC