Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Turkey summons US ambassador over arrest warrants for President's bodyguards

Turkey summons US ambassador over arrest warrants for President's bodyguards

The Turkish leader said Thursday that he will launch a "political" and "legal" fight over the arrest warrants, according to a report by CNN Turk.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised the USA decision to issue arrest warrants for 12 of his bodyguards allegedly linked with a brawl outside the Turkish embassy in Washington, DC.

Washington prosecutors have charged a dozen Turkish security and police officers with assault after an attack on protesters during Erdogan's visit to the USA capital on 16 May.

The "brawl" in front of the Turkish Ambassador's Residence "was caused by the failure of local security authorities to take necessary measures. and therefore that Turkish citizens can not be held responsible for the incident that took place".

"The ambassador was notified that this decision was wrong, biased and had no legal basis", the statement said.

He also said that the government will continue its work with the police and authorities over the matter and make a decision on whether additional measures should be carried out.

Bowser said the nation's capital is a frequent venue for protests but that police insist those be peaceful.

A police spokeswoman said the two are residents of Canada but it is not yet known whether they have Canadian citizenship.

In video annotated by The New York Times, Muhsin Kose, identified as Mr. Erdogan's head of security, is seen next to the Turkish president and speaks into an earpiece before three guards are seen departing.

The two Americans implicated in the attack are Sinan Narin, of McLean, Virginia, and Eyup Yildirim of Manchester, N.J. Narin, 45, was charged with felony and misdemeanor assault; Eyup Yildirim, 50, was charged with two felony counts of assault and a misdemeanor count of assault.

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), who had earlier urged authorities not to allow the Turkish suspects to leave the country, welcomed Thursday's development.

However, they could end up being threatened with arrest if they return to the US. Police said nine protesters had been injured.

Twelve people are either facing charges or will be charged for assaulting peaceful protesters at Turkey's Embassy in DC last month.

The affidavit says other Erdogan supporters joined the suited guards in attacking protesters, throwing them to the ground and kicking them repeatedly. The assault started after Erdogan appeared to pass instructions to the bodyguard who then passed them to another member of the security detail.

Turkey's US 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.

When Erdogan's group arrived at the property, Turkish security provoked the demonstrators and a violent outburst broke out that entangled demonstrators from both sides, Turkish security, and American law enforcement. "Our role as a police department is to make sure you can do so safely, especially if you're here peacefully demonstrating".

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