By Maggie Astor and Nicholas Fandos
NEW YORK (New York Times) — Violence broke out at a New York hotel on Thursday, September 21 when protesters disrupted a speech by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.
In the middle of Mr. Erdogan’s speech at the Marriott Marquis hotel, delivered in Turkish, a man — one of a handful of protesters — screamed in English: “You’re a terrorist. Get out of my country!” The ballroom at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square instantly erupted, with many attendees chanting Mr. Erdogan’s name to drown out the protesters.
After shouting at the Turkish president, demonstrators were punched and slapped by audience members as they were escorted out of the event.
Videos showed the protesters — one of them wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of Michael Israel, an American who was killed in a Turkish airstrike while volunteering with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or Y.P.G. — being punched and slapped by several attendees as security personnel removed them from the room. Security also removed at least one person who had assaulted the protesters.
Meghan Bodette, who identified herself as one of six protesters (one of whom was filming), said their goal was “to call attention to the Turkish state’s war crimes and human rights abuses against the Kurdish people,” both in Turkey and in Syria.