A clip of unarmed protesters being brutally attacked and clobbered by Turkey's embassy guards in Washington D.C has made rounds on the social media. The fight between supporters and opponents of President Tayyip Erdogan has been widely criticized by US senator john mccain. Is Turkey steadily exporting dictatorship to the US and other European nations?

McCain calls for embassy closure

The barbaric incident showed men in suits kicking anti-government protesters. At least nine people were injured during the scuffle. Senator John McCain called for the closure of the Turkey's embassy after it emerged that official embassy guards were involved in the brawl.

Turkey has a history of violence

Turkey has arrested and incarcerated people suspected of supporting the Gulen movement. In July 2016, a group of military officers attempted a failed coup against President Erdogan which left at least 241 people dead. In the aftermath, the government declared a state of emergency, jailed thousands of soldiers and embarked on a purge of public officials including police officers, teachers, judges and prosecutors presumed to have been behind the coup. Since then, an estimated 100,000 public servants have been dismissed or suspended for supporting a banned terrorist group.

Turkey accuses the US of hosting Gulen

Ankara has accused a US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, for seeking to topple the government.

President Erdogan has repeatedly condemned the US for hosting Mr. Gulen and called for his extradition. The US has however denied the accusations stating that any extradition process should adhere to the necessary standards.

Furthermore, President Erdogan has pushed for constitutional reforms that have conflicted with the protection of basic human rights in his country.

The scuffle at Washington D.C came at the backdrop of frequent anti-government protests in Ankara. Amnesty International has confirmed the report that media freedom in Turkey has been acutely curtailed as President Erdogan continues to crack the whip on anti-government media outlets.

The US should investigate the brawl

The brawl at Turkey's embassy in Washington D.C was an indication that Turkey's leadership is not committed to enhancing democracy.

It further showed that the rights of Turkey's citizens to assemble and peacefully protest was not guaranteed at home and abroad. Senator John McCain said the US should launch an investigation into the scuffle and prosecute or deport individuals found to have violated the rights of peaceful protesters.

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