Bloody clash outside Turkish embassy in D.C. sends 9 to hospital
- Author: Leroy Wright May 17, 2017,
May 17, 2017, 16:31
"We've had a great relationship and we will make it even better", Trump said as the two men sat next to each other in the Oval Office.
Nine people were injured and two were arrested on Tuesday after violent protests broke out at the Turkish ambassador's home in Washington, D.C., where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited earlier, authorities said.
"We support Turkey in the. fight against terror and terror groups like ISIS and the PKK, and ensure they have no safe quarter, the terror groups", Trump said, using an acronym for Islamic State.
At a joint White House press conference, Mr Trump lauded Mr Erdogan as an important ally in the "fight against terrorism".
"Taking YPG and PYD into consideration in the region will never be accepted and it is going to be against a global agreement that we have reached".
Turkey has been a partner in the US -led coalition against Islamic State forces.
Washington police eventually sent reinforcements and restored order, but emergency services said nine people were taken to the hospital, one of them in critical condition.
Elaborating upon his definition of terrorist groups, Erdoğan named the PYD, which is Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party, and the YPG, the People's Protection Units Kurdish militia fighting ISIS within the USA -backed multisectarian, multiethnic Syrian Democratic Forces. "We also appreciate Turkey's leadership in seeking an end to the horrific killing in Syria".
Erdogan has been under fire for a contested referendum that vastly expanded his executive power, as well as his government's crackdown on dissidents and civil society after an attempted coup last summer.
Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, is a vital ally in the fight against ISIS, allowing the United States to use its Incirlik air base in the fight against the terror group.
"One of the YPG supporters ran across, picked up a megaphone, and hit a Turkish citizen with it", pro-Erdogan demonstrator Busra Eren told WJLA.
Speaking at the White House with Erdogan, Trump hailed the Turkish people as "friends and allies for many, many decades" for the United States and pledged support for Turkish fight against the Islamic State (IS) and a Kurdish militant group known as the PKK.
The letter also criticized Erdogan for the massive wave of arrests against Gulen's supporters and the shutting down of several media outlets in the wake of the coup.
Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said in a statement the two leaders discussed "possible steps against FETO", referring to what Ankara calls the "Gulenist Terror Organization", a term it uses to describe Gulen's network.
Turkey also has raised concerns about a US criminal case against Reza Zarrab, a dual Turkish-Iranian national, arrested past year and charged with helping Iran process millions of dollar in transactions that violated USA sanctions against Tehran.