This year's U.N. General Assembly session in New York featured a statehood showdown between the Palestinians, Israelis, and Americans and a face off between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the backs of Western diplomats rushing for the exits during his address to delegates. But today new details are emerging about an under-the-radar, honest-to-goodness fight that broke out on Friday between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail and U.N. security guards outside the General Assembly hall.
How It Happened On Friday, several unnamed sources told the Inner City Press--a U.N. news site recently profiled in The New Yorker--that Erdogan had been "touched" and several people had been injured in a fight between the Turkish delegation and U.N. security guards. The site reported that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is not known for his panicked sprints, had even broken into a "rare run, accompanied by U.N. Safety and Security chief Gregory Starr, out of the North Lawn building and on to First Avenue in the rain, crossing it toward Turkey's Mission to the U.N." Over the next 24 hours, numerous Turkish news sites (including Sabah, above) picked up the story, stressing that Ban had offered a personal apology to Erdogan for the incident. "I'm afraid there was an unfortunate incident," Sabah quoted Erdogan as saying. Israeli Minister of Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein, who witnessed the scuffle, was more blunt, telling Ynet that the violence was "like a scene out of a movie."