Turkish President’s Visit to Ecuador Sparks Violence
Ecuadorian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Fernando Yepez has summoned the Turkish ambassador to Ecuador to explain the violence that erupted at a press conference given by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Quito on Friday.
Ecuador, SIGNAL gathered on Wednesday has protested to Turkey over the incident in which demonstrators were violently ejected during a speech by visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the capital, Quito. Three women protesters were thrown out of the venue by Turkish security. An Ecuadorean MP was also reportedly injured during the incident.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters on Saturday that a diplomatic note will be sent to Turkey regarding the heavy-handed intervention of Turkish guards against three protesters during Erdoğan’s speech.
“We will send a strong note of protest about the conduct of Turkish security,” said Patino.
Scuffles erupted when some of the protesters managed to enter the conference room and interrupted Erdoğan’s speech by chanting slogans. Video footage circulated on social media showed security guards, reportedly Erdoğan’s, forcing the protesters out of the conference room. An Ecuadorian lawmaker was injured during a scuffle with Erdoğan’s bodyguards while trying to protect the protesters. The lawmaker, Diego Vintimilla, posted photos on his Twitter account showing himself with a bloody nose and hands and a bruise on his arm.
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan, who was on a tour of Latin America last week, also faced a similar situation at his first stop in Chile, where Chilean activists protested his visit in front of the presidential palace in Santiago on Feb. 1, 2016. However, President Erdogan and his entourage have since left the country. No comments from his government over the incident have been reported.
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