Turkish ties hit rough patch after rough Erdogan visit

James Marshall
May 19, 2017

"Yesterday afternoon we witnessed what appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence", a police spokesman said.

The altercation came the same day that Erdogan met with President Donald Trump at the White House. "This is Erdogan's security detail". Two people were arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault, and D.C. police said Wednesday the investigation is continuing, with the possibility of other people being charged. Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest.

TURKEY'S rows with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies escalated yesterday over USA support for Syrian Kurdish separatists and Germany's use of a key air base. "The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured".

Lawsuits can also be sought, said McCain, as "we can identify these people", but the first step should be to throw the ambassador out of the United States.

Turkey's foreign minister also demanded that a U.S. envoy be removed for allegedly backing the Kurds, but the State Department said Brett McGurk has the "full support" of the Trump administration.

Video and photographs of the incident show men in dark suits and ties, some holding Turkish flags, kicking and hitting protesters. "There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior", McCain said on his Twitter account.

Pursuing charges would also threaten to further inflame the uneasy relationship between the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

According to D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham, the situation was especially "dicey" because some of the Turkish guards were armed.

A video shows the Turkish president standing near his auto as the fighting ensued, before turning his back and walking into the embassy.

"The weapons provided will only be used in Raqqa and its south, they will absolutely not be used against Turkey, this will not be allowed", Cavusoglu said. Online court records say he must return to court June 1 and Necmi on July 12.

Trump angered Erdogan by agreeing to send arms to Syrian Kurds fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a move Turkey fears could empower its own Kurdish minority.

Turkey considers the People's Protection Units, or YPG, a terror organization and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-long insurgency against the country. Such groups will "have no safe quarter", Trump said.

At their meeting Tuesday, Trump said the USA would re-establish its military and economic partnership with Turkey, committing to backing Turkey's defense against both Islamic State and the PKK.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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