Violence broke out at a New York hotel when protesters disrupted a speech by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
As Mr Erdogan addressed supporters in Turkish at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, one man shouted in English “You’re a terrorist, get out of my country” before being struck and dragged away.
Protesters were seen being hit and pushed by men in suits, thought to be the president’s bodyguards, his supporters or hotel security, before being thrown out of the venue.
Pro-Erdogan supporters could be heard chanting the President’s name during the clash.
Mr Erdogan, who is in New York for the UN General Assembly, paused on stage, blaming “a few impertinent hall terrorists” for the violence.
Amateur footage and photos taken by witnesses at the hotel appear to show protesters being violently attacked and shoved to the ground.
One of the demonstrators was wearing a T-shirt featuring a photo of Michael Israel, an American killed in a Turkish airstrike while volunteering with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, the New York Times reported.
Mr Erdogan considers the YPG as being affiliated with the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party, the PKK, which is fighting for an independent Kurdish state.
The demonstrators later said they had intended to condemn Mr Erdogan’s policies in Turkey and Syria.
One protester, who identified herself as Meghan Bodette, told the New York Times the group wanted to “call attention to the Turkish state’s war crimes and human rights abuses against the Kurdish people”.
Ms Bodette tweeted she had been ejected from the hotel after standing up with a YPJ flag.
I got escorted out and ran, some friends were briefly questioned. There, people disappear.— Meghan]]>🌹