United States officials criticize Turkey after attack on DC protesters

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19 May, 2017

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday he wanted Brett McGurk, the US special envoy to the coalition against Islamic State, removed from his post, saying he supported Kurdish militants.

The U.S. State Department said the episode was "deeply disturbing" and promised that an investigation would hold those responsible to account.

Erdogan was in Washington, DC to meet with President Donald Trump (pictured together on Tuesday), who praised him as a loyal ally in the battle against Islamic extremism.

Turkey's foreign minister on Thursday called on the Trump administration to replace its envoy to the anti-Islamic State coalition - the latest sign of Turkish frustration with the US war strategy in Syria amid mounting tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

A group of Republican lawmakers went a step further, calling the episode an "affront to the United States" and calling for Turkey to apologize.

"President Jean-Claude Juncker, together with (EU Council) President Donald Tusk, meets Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, in Brussels", Juncker's office said Friday in a calendar entry for May 25. "This isn't Turkey; this isn't a third-world country; and this kind of thing can not go un-responded to diplomatically".

Washington and Ankara are bitterly at odds over USA support for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, which Turkey considers a front for banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) separatists.

The White House did not comment on the incident.

The U.S. detained and released two members of the Turkish president's delegation after they were involved in an attack on peaceful protesters outside the Turkish embassy Tuesday.

In video captured by the Voice of America, a handful of Erdogan's supporters and his security detail rushed the demonstrators and started hitting them.

McCain says, "We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America". "It would be beneficial for this person to change", he said, accusing the diplomat of carrying on Obama-administration policies.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the agency is "concerned by the violent incidents" and "violence is never an appropriate response to free speech".

"We clearly told them if there is any attack by the YPG against Turkey, we will apply the rules of engagement without asking anyone", he was quoted as saying by the Hurriyet newspaper Thursday. The hashtag refers to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist group by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the European Union, and the United States.

On Thursday Arizona Sen.

Washington's Metropolitan Police Department said it had arrested two U.S. residents, Ayten Necmi, 49, and Jalal Kheirabadi, 42, over the incident, according to the BBC.

"Someone was beating me in the head nonstop", she said.

"Turkey and the US will together run an active combat against the PKK".


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