Erdogan warns Turkey opposition chief over 'justice march'

Kristopher Drake
June 18, 2017

The Foreign Ministry officials delivered a similar message in their meeting with the ambassador, saying that American law enforcement officials had not taken appropriate precautions to protect their delegation. The charges involve assault against protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in D.C. on May 16, during Erdogan's visit to the United States.

Nine people were injured, with several going to the hospital for treatment of head injuries, broken teeth, deep cuts and bruises.

Erdogan lashed back, accusing U.S. police of having allowed "terrorists" to protest "50 meters from me" during his United States visit.

'Why would I bring my guards with me to the United States, if not to protect me?' he said in a speech in Ankara, adding that U.S. police 'did nothing'.

The UK Guardian quotes Center for Strategic and International Studies analyst Bulent Aliriza, who stressed the Turks are very serious about the matter and anxious the US relationship with Turkey could suffer significant damage if the warrants are allowed to stand.

Washington, DC police reportedly obtained the arrest warrants for the bodyguards on Thursday.

"Recep Tayyip Erdogan was chosen by the Turkish people".

And, as they had in an earlier summons with the ambassador, they accused the United States of not disciplining two American officers who they say briefly detained two Turkish security officers hours after the May 16 brawl.

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 US ambassador told Turkey's government its guards violated US laws, a senior US official said. Nine people were injured; two people were arrested at the scene, but numerous assailants escaped the police.

Newsham recounted how video near the residence showed some attacking protesters with their fists and feet. If they were to return to the country, they would face a variety of felony and misdemeanor assault charges.

Two other defendants are Canadian, while the remaining 12 are Turkish nationals, according to ABC News. The U.S. State Department has not ruled out demanding their extradition.

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

Men in dark suits and others were recorded repeatedly kicking one woman as she lay curled on the pavement. In all, nine people were hurt.

Newsham did not explain how police expected to arrest the 12, given their location in Turkey and possible diplomatic protections.

The attack was an embarrassment for USA authorities, who invited Erdogan to meet Trump despite concerns over his government's increasingly authoritarian clampdown on his domestic media and opposition. "But when we go there, they want their police to replace our security personnel", he added.

Last week the House passed a resolution unanimously condemning the assault and calling for charges against members of Erdogan's security forces.

Turkey rejected the criticism and summoned the American ambassador last month to protest what it called "aggressive and unprofessional actions" by USA security personnel against Turkish bodyguards during a violent incident last week in Washington.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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