Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

United States decries violence during Turkish president's Washington visit

United States decries violence during Turkish president's Washington visit

And Turkey's calls for the U.S.to extradite Fethullah Gulen, an influential Turkish cleric and Erdogan rival whom the Turkish government claims was behind a failed 2016 coup, have so far fallen on deaf ears.

PRESIDENT TRUMP laid out the welcome mat this week for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the strongman apparently felt so much at home he thought it okay for his thugs to beat up peaceful demonstrators. "This is Erdogan's security detail".

Nine people were hurt and two people were arrested during the incident on Tuesday, and a D.C. Fire and EMS spokesperson reported two of those who were hurt sustained serious injuries and were taken to hospitals.

"Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

"If there were any Turkish Embassy officials involved in beating up these protesters, I will call for them to be removed from the country", said Graham, the GOP chairman of the Senate subcommittee that controls the foreign affairs budget. "The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured".

Investigators with the Metropolitan Police Department are working with the Secret Service and the State Department to identify the people on the videos.

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".

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said it was "an affront to DC values and our rights as Americans".

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

There may be issues with diplomatic immunity, Police Chief Peter Newsham said at a news conference Wednesday.

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

"It happened really fast", he said, insisting that he was trying to defend himself and to protect a police officer, not attack one.

"This is what happens in Turkey - this is not what happens in the US", he told the paper. Online court records say he must return to court June 1 and Necmi on July 12.

Cavusoglu said Turkey received USA assurances that arms sent to the YPG would be used only against IS, without explaining how this would be monitored. Such groups will "have no safe quarter", Trump said. But Erdogan's government views the Syrian Kurdish group known as the YPG as an extension of a Kurdish terrorist organization that operates in Turkey.

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