Turkish President's bodyguards brutally bash protesters in Washington DC

Washington DC Police have labelled an incident involving Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail unleashing on peaceful protesters as "a brutal attack".

Incredible footage of the fracas shows a number of demonstrators strewn across a grassy patch outside the Turkish embassy in Washington, with a number of President Erdogan's guards delivering blows as they run past.

The video shows dozens of people were involved in the brawl, and reports suggest there were as many as 12 people injured and two arrested at its conclusion.

The protesters had gathered to protest President Erdogan's visit to the US, in the face of alleged violations of human rights, and a crackdown on political activism and journalism in Turkey.

Another video of the violent incident shows Mr Erdogan himself watching on emotionlessly from close quarters, before turning and entering the embassy.

One protester, Ceres Borazan, posted on social media saying she was choked and had her life threatened by one Mr Erdogan's bodyguards.

"I ran in the opposite direction from our friends and got caught by one of the security guards. He put me in a headlock to the point where he popped a blood vessel in my eye," she said.

She claims a motorist who came past her told her to get in, allowing her to escape - and she credits that man for saving her life.

The State Department condemned the altercation, saying "violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest".

A number of US politicians have also denounced the fracas, with Senators John McCain and Diane Feinstein expressing "grave concern" at the incident in a letter to Mr Erdogan.