Trial of brawlers who beat Erdoğan protesters will go ahead, judge rules

A U.S. federal judge ruled on Monday that there is reason to continue the trial brought forward by protesters who were beaten by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s security detail and supporters during a visit to Washington D.C. in May, 2017.

Video footage circulated of members of Erdoğan’s security detail attacking people who had gathered near the Turkish embassy to protest the Turkish president’s visit.

Courthouse News reported that the 15 plaintiffs, who say they were beaten multiple times by the five defendants, filed a lawsuit seeking damage from the Republic of Turkey and the defendants in 2018.

Three of the defendants, Eyup Yildirim, Alpkenan Dereci and Sinan Narin, sought to have the case dismissed “on the grounds that the protesters had not claimed facts strong enough to support the suit,” Courthouse News said.

“In a 41-page opinion Monday, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled the individuals will not have to face the battery and civil rights claims, or the intentional infliction of emotional distress as applied to one of the protesters,” it said.

However, the assault and hate crime charges will go ahead, as will the majority of emotional distress charges, Kollar-Kotelly ruled.