Turkey Slams US After Erdogan Bodyguards' Brawl

The UK Independent reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry gave the American ambassador a "written and verbal protest" and called for a "full investigation of this diplomatic incident".

Eleven people were injured, including a police officer, and nine were taken to a hospital, after men in suits brutally kicked and punched the protestors.

"There could be a diplomatic immunity issue, but that won't prevent us from doing what we need to do here at the Metropolitan Police Department", Newsham said.

The Ministry claimed that "a written and verbal protest was delivered" to Bass, "due to the aggressive and unprofessional actions taken, contrary to diplomatic rules and practices, by United States security personnel".

Video of Erdogan impassively observing the melee for a few moments and then departing without doing anything to stop it has fueled suspicions he approved of the attack on demonstrators or even ordered it.

-Turkish Relations, hosted at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Several members of the US Congress, including John McCain, have asked for the Turkish diplomatic personnel to be expelled.

Turkey's response to the incident could add salt to the wounds of this new diplomatic rift between Washington and Ankara. "The State Department has raised its concerns about these events at the highest levels and a thorough investigation that will allow us to hold the responsible individuals accountable is of the utmost importance to us".

Turkish state media and pro-government media has portrayed the incident as one where the Turkish side was forced to defend itself after coming under attack from "terrorists" amid a lack of USA precautions.

The Turkish embassy however blamed the violent incident on demonstrators supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been involved in an armed conflict with the Turkish state since 1984.

Turkey's semiofficial Anadolu news agency on Saturday released its own, edited video version of the protest that it said showed the genesis of the attack: a water bottle, thrown by a protester.

Two senior lawmakers wrote a letter to Erdogan last week calling on the White House to remove the Turkish ambassador to the US for allowing the guards to interfere with the First Amendment rights of Americans. The PKK is considered to be a terrorist group by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the United States. A group of anti-Turkey protesters clashed with some Turkish-Americans, who had gathered outside the chancery to welcome the Turkish president.

  • Leroy Wright