Two Canadians among those sought by US authorities over attack on protesters

16 June, 2017, 04:00 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Erdogan's security personnel attack peaceful protesters during demonstration near the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington DC

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned on Thursday a decision by USA authorities to issue arrest warrants for 12 members of his security detail, accused of assaulting protesters during a brawl in Washington.

Washington mayor Muriel Bowser condemned the incident as "an affront to D.C. values and our rights as Americans". "It was an affront to our values". However, they could end up being threatened with arrest if they return.

Newsham said today that MPD now has no information of probable cause to arrest Erdogan. They were among 18 charged over the May 16 incident. Two arrests were made at the scene; however those individuals were released because the State Department said they have diplomatic immunity. Police displayed photos at the news conference of those sought, urging the public to help find some still unidentified.

In addition to the 12, warrants were issued for the arrest of two Canadian citizens who took part in the brawl.

"Alarmingly, this behavior is indicative of the broad crackdowns on political activists, journalists and religious freedom in Turkey that have greatly harmed Turkish democracy in recent years", the letter said.

Law enforcement and legal experts have said bringing the attackers to justice could be hard because Turkey is unlikely to extradite people or make them available for interviews.

The Turkish government went on the offensive over the incident, summoning the us ambassador to complain about the "aggressive" behaviour of Washington security personnel.

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Turkey summoned the US Ambassador in Ankara, John Bass, to the Foreign Ministry on Thursday after American authorities issued arrest warrants for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's bodyguards, the ministry said in a statement.

Sinan Narin, of Virginia, was charged with aggravated assault yesterday.

Turkey's USA embassy alleged the demonstrators were associated with the PKK, which has waged a three-decade-long insurgency against Turkey and is considered a terrorist group by the United States.

In a separate video, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan could be seen in the driveway of the ambassador's residence watching the melee for a moment before walking inside. The statement did not mention the security forces.

Members of Erdogan's bodyguards charged included Turgut Akar, Ismail Dalkiran, Servet Erkan, Tugay Erkan, Ahmet Karabay, Feride Kayasan, Lutfu Kutluca, Mustafa Murat Sumercan, Gokhan Yildirim, Ismail Ergunduz, Mehmet Sarman and Hamza Yurteri. Police and other officials say various members of visiting Erdogan's security team, some of them armed, attacked a group protesting his regime as police struggled to restore order and bystanders recorded with phones.

But the latest case, which played out in daylight along Washington's genteel Embassy Row, has brought a much higher level of attention.

Video footage showed security guards and some Erdogan supporters attacking protesters, leaving nine people hurt. The attack occurred during Erdogan's visit to Washington to meet with President Trump, who has spoken favorably of Erdogan's increasingly undemocratic government. In total, nine people required treatment for injuries, including women.

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