The guards of the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is visiting the U.S., came into conflict with journalists who came to his lecture at the University of Washington. This writes the Financial Times with reference to eyewitnesses.
Erdogan delivered a speech at the Brookings institution. However, members of the Turkish security services, according to eyewitnesses, cursing and didn’t let go journalists who wanted to attend the concert. Witnesses confirmed that they had tried before to withdraw from the lecture hall at least one reporter. The case involved the employees of the Institute, which allowed the journalist to attend the presentation. Representative institutions Gail Chalef said that despite disputes with security guards at the event, according to the Institute, were able to visit all accredited journalists.
In turn, the Deputy adviser to the President for national security Ben Rhodes said that he did not know the exact circumstances of the incident, but said that U.S. authorities “respect and support the right to independent journalism”, both in the U.S. and in Turkey.
At the same time at the entrance to the Institute building gathered supporters and opponents of Erdogan. The police had to intervene to prevent the conflict his critics with the protection of the Turkish President.
In his speech, Erdogan criticized America’s support of Syrian Kurds. He also commented on the conflict with some Turkish media, stressing that his government was taking the criticism, however, will fight “insults and slander”.
Erdogan was to hold Washington talks with President Barack Obama. The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. President has no plans to hold an official meeting with him one-on-one, Erdogan himself denied this information. The white house later said that Obama can spend with his Turkish counterpart, only an informal meeting. In the administration of the President of the United States, however, stressed that no formal negotiations should not be interpreted as an insult to Erdogan.
Washington and Ankara have recently drifted apart on the Kurdish issue: the US considers its allies, the Kurdish militia in Syria, as Turkey calls them part of the PKK, which Washington and Ankara recognized as a terrorist organization.
The U.S. also criticized the actions of the Turkish government against the opposition newspaper Zaman, which it took under its control. “We believe this is another step in a troubling series of judicial and law enforcement measures that Turkey has taken against the media critical of the government,” said state Department spokesman John Kirby.