Protestors disrupted the speech of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey at a New York hotel on Thursday
Right in the middle of the president’s speech, a man who was part of a group of protestors screamed: “You’re a terrorist. Get out of my country!” The ballroom at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square instantly caught fire, with attendees chanting Mr. Erdogan’s name to drown out the protesters.
Videos from the scene show the protestors being punched and slapped by attendees and security personnel removing them from the room. Security also removed a person who had assaulted the protesters.
One of the protesters, Meghan Bodette, said that her goal was to “call attention to the Turkish state’s war crimes and human rights abuses against the Kurdish people,” both in Syria and in Turkey.
“Erdogan should not be able to speak here unchallenged, and we challenged him because the American people need to know that a state that claims to be our ally is hindering the fight against ISIS in Syria and destroying civilian lives,” Ms. Bodette said in a Twitter message.