Protesters and supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waved flags, held banners and chanted slogans on the sidewalks in front of the Brookings Institute (1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW) in Dupont Circle earlier this afternoon.
Erdogan, who is in town for the Nuclear Security Summit, was slated to deliver a speech on the country’s “global challenges and goals for the year 2023” at Brookings at 1 p.m.
Protesters yelling “Erdogan is ISIS” and supporters waving “President Erdogan Welcome” signs squared off on opposite sides of the street just after 12:30 p.m. At times, the two groups were loud enough to be heard blocks away.
Brookings, Dupont. If you're nearby you can probably hear the chanting pic.twitter.com/s0Zu91PCFj
— Tim Regan (@MrTimRegan) March 31, 2016
Though the protests were spirited but peaceful when a Borderstan reporter visited the scene earlier today, multiple observers reported that physical scuffles broke out before noon.
A journalist was kicked and another was thrown to the ground in front of the building by one of Erdogan’s bodyguards, according to Foreign Policy. A Huffington Post reporter also tweeted about the physical altercation, saying the president’s “thugs” attacked reporters outside the building.
— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) March 31, 2016
D.C. Police spokeswoman Alice Kim said no arrests have been made related to the incident.