Trump Praises Erdogan Despite Incidents of Violence Against Protesters
U.S. President Donald Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a friend who gets "high marks" for "running a very difficult part of the world."
Trump's effusive praise for the Turkish leader came on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday despite tensions between the two countries over the conduct of Turkish security officials toward American protesters.
Hours before Trump met Erdogan for talks, Erdogan supporters punched and kicked three protesters who interrupted his speech at a New York hotel.
Erdogan was addressing several hundred people at an event organized by a business group, the Turkish-American National Steering Committee, when one man stood and began shouting, “Terrorist! Terrorist!”
Voice of America TV footage shows audience members pummeling him as U.S. security officers tried to hustle him to safety. Soon after he was gone, a second man followed suit and also was repeatedly punched and hit over the head with Turkish flags as he was led outside by U.S. security.
Erdogan tried to calm the crowd, saying: “Let’s not sacrifice the whole meeting for a couple of terrorists.”
Then a third protester started heckling the president from a different part of the crowd. Although that incident occurred off-camera, a VOA reporter who was nearby said he too was beaten.
This was the second time this year that protesters in America have been assaulted by Erdogan supporters.
UN Team to Collect Evidence of Islamic State War Crimes in Iraq
The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to establish an investigative team to help Iraq secure evidence of atrocities committed by Islamic State militants "that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide."
Britain, which drafted the resolution, said the team would bring some justice to those who had experienced atrocities at the hands of IS, variously known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh.
The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, called the resolution "a landmark" that would "provide an indispensable record of the scope and scale" of IS atrocities."
"It's a huge milestone for all of those who've been fighting for justice for victims of crimes committed by ISIS,'' well-known international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, said in the Facebook Live video. "It says to victims that their voices will be heard and they may finally get their day in court.''
But Human Rights Watch criticized the resolution as a missed opportunity by the council "to address war crimes and rights abuses by all sides to the conflict in Iraq."
“No one denies the importance of tackling the widespread atrocities by ISIS in Iraq, but ignoring abuses by Iraqi and international forces is not only flawed, it’s shortsighted,” said Balkees Jarrah, senior international justice counsel at Human Rights Watch. “The pursuit of justice is essential to all victims who saw their loved ones tortured and killed, or houses burned and bombed, regardless of who is responsible.”