Erdogan Supporters in Violent Clash with Protesters in Washington

Claudine Rigal
Mai 29, 2017

The US State Department has confirmed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail was behind the attack on Kurdish protesters in Washington, DC on Tuesday.

Newsham did not comment on reports stating that the U.S. Secret Service arrested, then released, members of Erdogan's security detail.

The militia associated with the PYD, the People's Protection Units (YPG), are allies of the United States, while the Turkish government considers them a terrorist organization.

"We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America. Yesterday we witnessed what appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protests".

Because the altercation took place in broad daylight, many wonder if the U.S. will charge the security personnel and other Erdogan supporters involved in the attack - all of whom could potentially claim diplomatic immunity.

Police said 11 people were injured, including a Washington police officer, and two people were arrested for assault. But due to their diplomatic immunity, they were released on the scene.

Congressmen like John McCain (R-AZ) are demanding a decisive response to the Turkish officials' actions.

The Turkish Embassy in Washington released a statement Wednesday that made no mention of any role played by the presidential guards but said that a group of Turkish American citizens who had gathered to greet Erdogan "responded in self-defense" to a "provocative demonstration".

Erdogan, speaking to a group of business leaders in Istanbul, said he told the United States that Turkey would "exercise its rights under the rules of engagement", without consulting anyone, if it faced a threat.

The diplomatic incident has sparked outrage in Washington and even prompted the State Department to summon the Turkish ambassador.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said McGurk, who was initially an Obama appointee, was "definitely supporting the Kurds", insisting that US-Turkey relations would be improved by his removal from the position. So, you can not have that happen in the United States of America.

President Erdogan's bodyguards could hear it.

In an interview with Turkish broadcaster NTV, the foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, accused the USA envoy, Brett McGurk, of "providing support" for the PKK and the Syrian force, known as the YPG.

Turkey launched its Euphrates Shield operation inside Syria past year, backing Syrian rebels with tanks, air strikes and special forces to sweep Islamic State from its southern border and stop the advance of the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which Ankara regards as a terrorist organization.

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