Turkish Embassy Bodyguards Beat up Americans in Washington, Video Shows
- Author: Leroy Wright May 22, 2017,
May 22, 2017, 6:50
New video footage has emerged that shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looking on as Turkish security officials beat up protesters outside the country's embassy in Washington earlier this week.
He told "Morning Joe" that he believed the Turkish ambassador to the US should be thrown "the hell out" of the country because of the violence.
Some of the guards are believed to have diplomatic immunity or left the US with Erdogan, The Wall Street Journal reports, though the State Department - which expressed its "concern" to Turkey "in the strongest possible terms" - is exploring ways to block Erdogan's security detail from returning to the USA; some of the same guards harassed a Turkish reporter in Washington previous year, too.
The diplomatic incident has sparked outrage in Washington and even prompted the State Department to summon the Turkish ambassador.
State also confirmed that two members of the Turkish security team were detained after Tuesday's incident, and then released.
The U.S. State Department has also expressed its official concern "in the strongest possible terms". The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured.
It was unclear if they were members of Mr Erdogan's security or protesters.
Erdogan said that the United States had made its decision on the subject of the Raqqa operation and that Turkey could not participate, given the YPG involvement.
John McCain says that the Turkish ambassador should be expelled from the USA after members of the Turkish presidential security detail beat up protesters outside of the Turkish embassy earlier this week. The incident left 11 people injured, nine of whom were hospitalized.
Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham called the attacks "brutal" and vowed to "pursue everything that's within our legal power to hold the folks that were responsible for their actions". Two people were arrested, one charged with assaulting a police officer, but it is unclear whether those arrested were protesters or Erdogan's security personnel.
Turkey is frequently ranked as the world's top jailer of journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
"Reports indicate that some Turkish officials were involved in assaulting protesters, which violates the most basic rules of democracy and is an affront to the United States and the value we place on the right to free speech, as embodied in our Constitution".
He had recently returned to Turkey from a Tuesday visit to the White House.
In a statement, the Turkey Embassy blamed the conflict on the leftist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a Marxist group in Turkey that has for decades been locked in a military conflict with Ankara.