Erdogan: Turkey will not take part in Raqqa offensive
- Author: Leroy Wright May 21, 2017,
May 21, 2017, 16:18
Nine people were hurt and two were arrested when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security personnel attacked protesters carrying the flag of a Kurdish political party while they rallied outside the Turkish envoy's residence on Wednesday. Video published Thursday appears to show Erdogan calmly watching the whole thing go down.
"I'd throw the Turkish ambassador out", the Arizona Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe", the Hill reported.
Turkey's leader and his security team are guests in the United States.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday called for the removal of Brett McGurk, the top USA envoy to the coalition against Islamic State, alleging he supported Kurdish militants.
"These are not just average people at this meeting".
Video captured Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan watching as his government security detail and several armed individuals violently clashed with protesters.
Erdogan was in Washington, DC to meet with President Donald Trump, who praised him as a loyal ally in the battle against Islamic extremism.
"This isn't Turkey, this isn't a third world country".
Washington authorities said they had "very good video" and were confident they would be able to identify most of the assailants but did not specifically comment on whether any members of Erdogan's security detail were involved in the brawl. Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest.
Memo to the Turkish Embassy: The First Amendment, including the right to peacefully assemble, still applies here.
The calls came as the administration conceded it had released two members of Erdogan's detail after holding them briefly after the incident, which took place outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in the US capital on Tuesday.
On Wednesday the State Department gave a statement slamming the violence as inappropriate. The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured.
The US agrees with Turkey in designating the PKK as a terrorist organization, but rejects the idea that Kurdish forces in Syria or Iraq should be treated in the same fashion. While officials vowed an investigation, the guards are already safely back in Turkey with Erdogan, dampening any prospects for holding them accountable.