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Thursday, 18 May 2017 16:19

Turkey’s Mr. Erdogan Does Not Get His Way


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey came to Washington for his first meeting with President Trump with hopes of achieving a “turning point” in an alliance that is vitally important to both sides, but has been profoundly strained by policy issues involving efforts to defeat ISIS in Syria.

His demands were mostly unreasonable, which means continued tensions.

The enduring image of Mr. Erdogan’s visit will not be the pomp at the White House but that of his security guards and other supporters beating up protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence. The police described the attack as “brutal” and the State Department called it an intolerable assault on free speech. Eleven people were injured, including a police officer, and nine were taken to the hospital. Some Republican lawmakers said Turkey should apologize.

The Turkish Embassy blamed the demonstrators for “aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet” Mr. Erdogan. Washington’s Metropolitan Police will now have to determine accountability. That could be tricky; Mr. Erdogan and his security people are back in Turkey. Mr. Trump, meanwhile, has shown a shocking indifference to Mr. Erdogan’s authoritarian crackdown on his own people, which in turn makes it even more important to show that the United States will follow the rule of law.

Read more at NYTimes

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