No, Er­do­gan, this is not ac­cept­able here

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

This ap­peared in The Wash­ing­ton Post:

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump laid out the wel­come mat this week for Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan, and the strong­man ap­par­ently felt so much at home he thought it OK for his thugs to beat up peace­ful demon­stra­tors. It must be made clear that this be­hav­iour is un­ac­cept­able and will not be tol­er­ated.

A con­fronta­tion Tues­day out­side the Turk­ish am­bas­sador’s res­i­dence re­sulted in 11 peo­ple be­ing in­jured. Two peo­ple were ar­rested and charged. Par­tic­u­lar scru­tiny needs to be paid to the ac­tions of Er­do­gan’s se­cu­rity guards, who, a Turk­ish news ser­vice con­firmed, were in­volved in the fight­ing be­cause they didn’t think po­lice were do­ing enough to quiet the protest. Video and pho­tographs of the in­ci­dent show men in dark suits and ties, some hold­ing Turk­ish flags, kick­ing and hit­ting pro­test­ers. “What we saw yes­ter­day — a vi­o­lent at­tack on a peace­ful demon­stra­tion — is an af­front to D.C. val­ues and our rights as Amer­i­cans,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

There need to be con­se­quences. The State De­part­ment is­sued a rel­a­tively strong state­ment Wed­nes­day say­ing that it was “con­cerned by the vi­o­lent in­ci­dents” in­volv­ing Turk­ish se­cu­rity per­son­nel. That’s a good first step, but it is not enough. Turk­ish per­son­nel in­sti­gat­ing this vi­o­lence must be pros­e­cuted or, if shielded by diplo­matic im­mu­nity, made per­sons not wel­come in this coun­try.

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