Erdogan slams charges over Washington brawl

Lucy Bush
June 16, 2017

A dozen members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail will face charges for their involvement in a violent attack on protestors in Washington, D.C., last month, two USA officials told The New York Times.

Two other defendants are Canadians, while the rest are Turkish nationals - nine security officers and three police officers, all part of Erdogan's entourage. Eyup Yildirim was arrested in New Jersey on charges of assault with significant bodily injury and aggravated assault.

Erdogan's security detail returned with him to Turkey after his visit. Members of the security team face several felony and misdemeanor counts. Newsham referred all questions regarding extradition to the State Department but said that all of the foreign suspects would be arrested should they ever attempt to enter the United States.

"We all saw the violence that was perpetrated against the protesters", Newsham said. It also accused USA authorities of roughing up Erdogan's security detail.

Two men were arrested on Wednesday.

Some additional suspects still have not been identified, the police chief said.

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The State Department spokesperson told reporters that worldwide law allows heads of state customary protections/immunity for members of an entourage, which they lose upon leaving the US.

Others involved in the brawl left the USA prior to the completion of the investigation and before arrest warrants could be obtained for them, a law enforcement official told CNN.

Nine people were injured in the skirmish.

"Anyone traveling to the United States will be held to that same standard", she said.

Turkey has protested the indictments against its security personnel, summoning the USA ambassador to Turkey to their foreign ministry.

Some critics were angry police did not make more arrests on the spot; the State Department ordered a federal police agency to release two presidential guards taken into custody saying they had diplomatic immunity.

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The melee has become a major irritant in U.S. Demonstrators were protesting Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian regime outside the Turkish ambassador's residence when a group of men stormed their picket line and started throwing punches.

Senate and House members have also raised concerns about the recently announced $1.2 million sale of semi-automatic guns slated for use by Turkish President Erdognan's security detail, many of whom participated in the May 16th attacks.

"We don't have any information right now to suggest that we would have probable cause to make an arrest of the president", Chief Newsham said.

The incident has certainly raised tensions with Turkey, and American officials may continue to be disappointed with their attacks on protesters.

Turkish President's guards intervened in a group of protestors in front of the Turkish Ambassador's Residence in Washington on May 16 while the group was chanting slogans against Erdogan.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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