Turkey summons U.S. ambassador over Washington brawl

Olive Rios
June 4, 2017

U.S. Ambassador John Bass was called to the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry on Monday to receive a "written and verbal protest" over the "the aggressive and unprofessional actions taken" against Mr. Ergodan's security staff, who were attempting to put down protesters outside Turkish Embassy Chancery.

The teachers have said their hunger strike aimed to highlight the plight of around 150,000 state employees suspended or sacked after the July putsch, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames on followers of a US -based cleric.

Police said 11 people were injured, including a Metropolitan Washington police officer.

But the Turkish embassy said the demonstrators were linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and had aggressively provoked Turkish-Americans gathering to greet the president.

"It has been formally requested that the United States authorities conduct a full investigation of this diplomatic incident and provide the necessary explanation", it added.

Protesters say they were attacked by Turkish security forces as they demonstrated peacefully.

"We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms", said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert last week.

Washington summoned the Turkish ambassador over the altercation, and there have been growing calls for a strong response to the violence of the Turkish bodyguards on us soil.

In the meeting with Turkey's Foreign Ministry in Ankara, U.S. Ambassador John Bass said the security personnel's behavior contradicted U.S. laws and protected speech and assembly rights, according to a senior U.S. State Department official.

It is apparent that the only threat posed by the protesters was their message of dissent against Erdogan. They were later set free and returned to Turkey. Two of Erdogan's guards were also briefly detained, but then released due to diplomatic immunity.

The U.S. State Department took a different stand.

Video shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail violently breaking up a peaceful protest last week outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington. The country is calling for a "a full investigation of this diplomatic incident".

During a almost two-hour speech on Sunday, he said: "In my country, they tried to overthrow the state, and we gave 249 martyrs, and had 2,193 injured".

"The violent response of your security detail to peaceful protesters is wholly unacceptable and, unfortunately, reflective of your government's treatment of the press, ethnic minority groups and political opponents", they said in a letter just days ago.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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