UN security men in brawl with Erdogan bodyguards
The Turks say Erdogan himself was jostled. The UN guards insist the delegation was taking the wrong route into the hall. Mr Ban's spokesman refused to comment
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Wednesday 28 September 2011
When the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stood to speak at the United Nations General Assembly last week, diplomats were concerned mainly with heading off a fight over Palestinian statehood. As it happened, a much more damaging – physically damaging – fight was happening right outside.
Protection officers accompanying RecepTayyip Erdogan were involved in a brawl with the UN's own security officials as the Turkish Prime Minister tried to enter the hall to listen to Mr Abbas's speech, it has emerged.
One of the UN security officers was reportedly taken to hospital after the two sides traded blows, and the incident continued in a second confrontation later in the afternoon.
The fall-out was still continuing yesterday, as representatives for UN security guards accused the Turkish delegation of bullying and expressed disappointment in the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after hearing that he had apologised to Turkish diplomats for the incident.
Because of the sensitivity, Mr Ban's office was keeping tight-lipped about details of the incident, despite lurid accounts appearing on unofficial UN blogs. Guards were told by their staff union to take pictures of their injuries, one of their number having suffered bruised ribs. An email from the UN staff union's Timothy Kennedy to the UN's head of security Gregory Starr, published on the Turtle Bay blog, said that the "entire Security and Safety Service has been dealing with the aggressive nature of the security apparatus of this particular detail all week long.
"It has shoved many officers, fraudulently utilised ministerial ID's for access, and assaulted at least one of our officers (previously, as well as today). I have advised our officers who've been injured and/or assaulted to make police reports to the 17th [precinct], and have themselves checked at the hospital."
The fighting broke out as Mr Erdogan rushed from a meeting in order to be in the General Assembly hall for Mr Abbas's landmark speech demanding recognition of Palestinian statehood. His path through one door was blocked by UN security guards, but the delegation insisted on pressing through, and the two sides began scuffling. The Turkish side says Mr Erdogan himself was jostled. The UN guards insist the delegation was taking the wrong route into the hall.
Mr Ban's spokesman, Martin Nesirky, refused to comment on the details of the incident, or on whether the Secretary-General had apologised. He said there would be a review of security procedures.
"There were some unfortunate misunderstandings involving security between UN uniformed officials and security officials of member delegations," he said. "We believe these have been satisfactorily resolved, and that prompt action was taken. Necessary action is also being taken to prevent such misunderstandings in the future."
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 5 Terror threat level raised to severe as PM warns Isis risk could last for decades
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Terror threat level raised to severe as PM warns Isis risk could last for decades
Isis 'A Message in Blood' video shows beheading of Kurdish man in Iraq
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...
£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...
£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...