MELEE

Fights Erupt at Erdogan’s Speech in New York

Fighting broke out during Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s speech at a New York hotel Thursday night after a group of protesters stormed the event and were reportedly attacked by members of the audience. Erdogan was speaking at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square when a small group of protesters disrupted his speech to call attention to the Turkish government’s “war crimes and human-rights abuses” against the Kurdish people, The New York Times reports. The protesters, five of whom were “briefly detained” by police, were reportedly punched and slapped by Erodgan supporters in the crowd. One witness said she’d seen a demonstrator shoved to the ground by unidentified security personnel, but a police official cited by the Times said Erdogan’s security team was not thought to be involved in the tussles. During Erdogan’s last official visit to the U.S. in May, several protesters were injured after being attacked by members of the Turkish leader’s security detail outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington.