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Why did Erdogan's bodyguards beat up these Ecuadorian women?

No country is spared from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anger, not even Ecuador, raising questions about whether he can speak to unvetted audiences.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (2nd L) and Ecuador's Foreign Affairs Minister Ricardo Patino (L) attend a diplomatic ceremony in front of Carondelet Palace in Quito, Ecuador, February 4, 2016.REUTERS/Guillermo Granja - RTX25GXK

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan embarked on a Latin America trip between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4. The main goal of his trip was to expand trade relations with Chile, Peru and Ecuador. On Feb. 4, Erdogan gave a speech at the Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales (National Higher Studies Institute) in Ecuador’s capital, Quito. During his speech, a group of female protesters were heard screaming “Fuera Ecuador Erdogan” ("Get out of Ecuador, Erdogan") and "Asesino" ("Murderer"). Some of the protesters had "asesino" written on their hands as well. Their protest lasted less than a minute before they were brutally attacked by Erdogan's Turkish bodyguards. The women were forcefully removed from the room and claimed to have been assaulted; the bodyguards punched their heads, vaginas and breasts. As the female protesters were being dragged out of the auditorium, Erdogan said, “As we see now, there are sometimes disrespectful characters as well. Appropriate responses will always be taken to handle these disrespectful people.”

Outside the building, a larger group of demonstrators had gathered to protest Erdogan’s visit. Their banners read, “Erdogan loves IS [Islamic State]” and “Erdogan Kills in Syria,” while others expressed solidarity with the Kurds. The guards attacked this group as well, breaking the nose of an Ecuadorian lawmaker, Diego Vintimilla. Vintimilla posted photos of his injuries on Twitter. Social media users retweeted it and he received hundreds of supportive messages from Turkey.

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