Turkish president slams U.S. charges for guards

Jun 16, 2017, 03:59

Earlier in the day, the United States authority had issued arrest warrants for 16 people, including 12 bodyguards of the Turkish president, over an incident in May outside Turkey's Washington embassy when several people were injured during a brawl; Erdogan was on an official visit to the USA at the time of the incident.

Two other suspects, whose charges were announced Thursday alongside the Turkish security personnel, are Canadian citizens, Newsham said.

The Turkish government went on the offensive over the incident, summoning the us ambassador to complain about the "aggressive" behaviour of Washington security personnel. Another man, Sinan Narin, was arrested in Virginia on an aggravated assault charge, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

Two men had also been arrested at the scene of the clash on charges of aggravated assault and assaulting a police officer. Yildirim was charged with two felony counts and one misdemeanor assault count. And past year, the police and members of Mr Erdogan's security team clashed with demonstrators outside the Brookings Institution in Washington.

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Turkey's USA embassy alleged the demonstrators were associated with the PKK, which has waged a three-decade-long insurgency against Turkey and is considered a terrorist group by the United States.

The action is likely to exacerbate what has become a major irritant in U.S.

Of the twelve men, seven will be charged with felonies and five with misdemeanors, a law enforcement official was quoted as telling the Chicago Tribune. The company did not return a request for comment.

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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"If they [the security agents] were to come back to the United States, they would have [outstanding] warrants", said spokesperson Heather Nauert, who read a statement issued earlier by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Video of the startling violence, widely circulated on social media, showed security guards pummeling a group of protesters with fists and feet. Eleven people were injured and nine were hospitalized, as Erdogan watched from his Mercedes-Benz. Erdogan even got out of his vehicle to briefly watch.

Correction: June 15, 2016A previous version of this article misidentified the gender of one of the people charged today.

Erdogan lashed back, accusing USA police of having allowed "terrorists" to protest "50 meters from me" during his United States visit. The resolution called "for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and measures to be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future".

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The Turkish government summoned the American ambassador in turn to object to the handling of the case, and has accused the protestors of being members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party - or PKK - which the U.S. and Turkey consider to be a terrorist organization.

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