Erdogan and Trump pledge to strengthen relations
- Author: Leroy Wright May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 12:11
Officials alleged in the statement that the protesters were affiliated with the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey and the United States.
Trump's recent decision to approve transfer of weapons to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dominated by the YPG escalated this uneasy situation even more.
Turkish officials had hoped for a "new page" after the bickering with Mr Obama, but the Trump administration's announcement that the U.S. would arm the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) - which Ankara views as terrorists - put a damper on such optimism.
The United States sees the YPG as distinct from the PKK and as a valuable partner in the fight against Islamic State.
In parallel with Erdogan's visit to Washington and few hours before his meeting with Trump, a number of U.S. congressmen signed an open letter, calling on Trump to oppose the extradition of Gulen, as no legal evidence was established regarding his role in the failed coup attempt.
The incident unfolded the same day that Erdogan and Trump held talks at the White House, a meeting that came amid continuing bilateral tensions on a range of issues, including Washington's recent agreement to arm Kurdish militia fighters in Syria that Ankara links to terrorists.
The background of the two men arrested wasn't immediately clear. In March 2016, while the Turkish leader attended the Nuclear Security Summit at the Brookings Institution, his supporters as well as his security detail clashed with protesters.
Trump said the USA would re-establish its military and economic partnership with Turkey.
The Turkish-US relationship has been strained by the US refusal to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania whom Erdogan blames for orchestrating the coup attempt against him.
The attack happened on American soil-not the grounds of the Turkish Embassy.
Hours earlier, President Donald Trump welcomed Erdogan to the Oval Office for a discussion on ISIS and ongoing efforts to fight terrorism.
Usoyan also said she was attacked by a pro-Erdogan supporter.
Turkey is also pushing - so far, without success - for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania, whom the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating a coup attempt against Erdogan in July of past year.
Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama, said of the violence on Tuesday: "Clearly Erdogan's guards feel complete impunity, drawing on tools of repression they use at home & knowing he has their back, no matter what", as reported by CNN.