This is a very strange story. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t been reported in the American press, and I only became aware of it when the ANSAmed report fell into my hands this afternoon.
It seems that a spot of American-Turkish trouble occurred yesterday on the sidewalks of New York. Just after Barack Hussein Obama spoke at Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative at the Sheraton Hotel, the bodyguards of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan encountered the bodyguards of President Obama (presumably the Secret Service), and a scuffle between the two groups ensued. The Turkish guards did not understand English, resisted their American counterparts, and had to be restrained by the laying on of hands.
I searched Google News just now, and turned up this list of articles about the incident. They’re from Turkey, Russia, Italy, and Armenia, but nothing showed up in the American media:
- Erdogan got into fight with US guards
- Prime minister wraps up US visit
- Turkey-Press Scan (2)
- Turkish PM manhandled by US Secret Service
- Turks Breach Security Around Obama Limo
- A New York zuffa tra le scorte di Obama e Erdogan
- The Bodyguard; ‘koruyan ile korunan’…
It’s not that big a story, but given that the American media normally cover every footstep and gesture of the Messiah, why was this incident ignored? When Mr. Obama swats a fly, it’s big news, so why not a brawl between entourages?
Here’s the report from ANSAmed:
USA-Turkey: Brawl Between Bodyguards of Obama and Erdogan
ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 24 — The front page of the daily paper Cumhuriyet has today called it a “scandal”: the scuffle which broke out yesterday evening in New York between the body guards of US president Barack Obama and those of Turkish premier Tayyip Erdogan who, according to some eyewitnesses, intervened in the brawl by grabbing the arm of a US security guard to stop him.
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All Turkish papers have set aside space this morning to the incident which occurred when Obama was on his way out of the Sheraton Hotel where he had spoken at Clinton’s Global Initiative. At the same time Erdogan and his delegation were arriving and were stopped by an escort of the head of the White House to allow the latter to leave. Almost certainly a result of linguistic misunderstanding (Erdogan’s Turkish bodyguard do not speak English), the American guards were forced to stop their Turkish counterparts by grabbing hold of them.
This then caused Erdogan’s guards to react, resulting in a scuffle. “The foreign (Turkish) delegates became confused and were trying to go in through the entrance where the president was leaving. They did not understand the verbal instructions that we gave them and so we had to stop them physically,” said Ed Donovan, Obama’s security services spokesman. After the incident, the papers reported, Erdogan decided not to take part in Clinton’s Global Initiative programme and left the Sheraton.
Hat tip: Insubria.