Kurdish protestors attacked by Erdoğan’s bodyguards in DC sue Turkey

Kurdish protesters, who were attacked by Turkish security officials during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Washington in 2017, are suing the Turkish government for their injuries, The Public Radio International (PRI) reported on Friday. 

Eleven people were injured and nine were taken to the hospital in May 2017 after Erdoğan’s security detail attacked protesters carrying the flag of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) outside the Turkish president’s residence in the U.S. capital. 

Murat Yasa, a Kurdish activist from Turkey, was among the protestors. According to Yasa, he and a Yazidi woman next to him were among those who were attacked pretty badly.

Yasa told the PRI that the Yazidi woman named Lucy had fallen down when they had been attacked. He said he suddenly had been hit behind, when he had been trying to save Lucy.

“And then, one after another, they were kicking me. Each time I was trying to get up. One after another, one after another, every 10 seconds, every 15 seconds, they were hitting me like the soccer players kick a ball,” Yasa said.

Yasa said the incident had created long-term impacts on his health. “It is more than a year now and I am still seeing my neurologist, my psychiatrist, I have some damage on my head because of the kicking on my head. I have headaches, I had broken teeth. Those are fixed,” he said.

The Kurdish protestor said that the incident had affected also him financially, as, for the first time in his life, he had failed a test to renew his licence for his business due to his health problems

“The Yazidi woman, she's still seeing her doctors too and therapy, seeing the psychiatrist too,” said Yasa. He added that both suffered from memory problems and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

Yasa said that he and fellow victims had filed a lawsuit in a U.S. federal court against Turkey since they believed that justice should be served. 

The U.S. prosecutors charged 15 members of Erdogan’s security detail with assault following the incident, but they later made the decision to drop the charges against 11 of the bodyguards.

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