State Dept expresses "concern" over Turkish officials' attack on protesters

Lawrence Kim
May 20, 2017

President Erdogan's security staff can be seen kicking and beating Turkish anti-government protesters in Washington.

"We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America", McCain said. "This isn't Turkey; this isn't a third-world country; and this kind of thing can not go un-responded to diplomatically".

His comments came hours after Ankara said the United States should dismiss its special envoy in the battle against Islamic State, citing his support for the Kurdish militia.

It was unclear if they were members of Mr Erdogan's security or protesters.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC said he wants "people prosecuted".

The Anadolu Agency, a state-owned Turkish news service, reported that members of the president's security team were involved in the attack.

The guards likely have been flown out of the country, and they or others may have diplomatic immunity.

"We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Wednesday.

House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, a California Republican, called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "to hold individuals accountable" for the attack. Last year, Turkish security officials manhandled several journalists at a Washington think tank where Erdogan was set to speak.

ISTANBUL (AP) - Turkey's leader told Donald Trump that his country will keep on fighting Syrian Kurdish militants even though they are a key USA ally against the Islamic State group, Turkey's foreign minister said Thursday, adding that a top US envoy should be fired for backing the Kurds. He appears to briefly watch his guards violently break up the protest before entering the Turkish ambassador's residence. Ayten Necmi, 49, of Woodside, New York, was charged with aggravated assault, and Jalal Kheirabaoi, 42, of Fairfax, Virginia, was charged with assault on a police officer. Another person wrenches a woman's neck and throws her to the ground. A man with bullhorn is repeatedly kicked in the face.

Police said 11 people were injured, including a Washington police officer, and two people were arrested for assault.

The Turkish embassy released a statement on May 17 that contradicted USA officials and video evidence, blaming instead the demonstrators, who, it said, had been "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president". The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured. The descent of Turkey into a strongman state is discouraging, and there's no sign that it's going to turn around any time soon.

The U.S. says there's an ongoing investigation that will allow the U.S.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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