US, Turkey spar over Erdogan visit violence, Kurdish support


19 May, 2017

Another wrenches a woman's neck and throws her to the ground. In all, nine people were hurt.

A congressional aide told The Associated Press that two members of Erdogan's security detail were detained on the scene Tuesday by diplomatic security agents, and they quickly claimed diplomatic immunity and were released.

The Turkish security officials were briefly detained at the site of the protest by USA law enforcement for their role in the altercation. Police said they were checking reports that some of the attackers worked as bodyguards for the Turkish president.

"The demonstrators began aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president", the embassy said.

"The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense", the statement read. Instead, several of the men dodge the officers and ran into the park to continue the attacks.

A State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said in a statement Thursday that McGurk had the "full support and backing" of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the White House.

USA expresses concern in "strongest possible terms" after violence erupted outside the Turkish embassy.

Politicians weighed in as well.

A group of Republican lawmakers went a step further, calling the episode an "affront to the United States" and calling for Turkey to apologize. John McCain commented while retweeting the video. "We said, 'We can not be in an operation where there are terror organizations". He said 11 people and one of his officers were injured during the incident, which was partially captured on video by media outlets.

A brawl erupted outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington D.C. on Tuesday as Erdogan was visiting the embassy.

Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham told a news conference Wednesday, "We intend to assure that there is accountability for anyone involved in this assault". He suggested that lawsuits should be filed if the responsible bodyguards can be identified.

Police said two people were arrested. Two men identified as 49-year-old Ayten Necmi of NY and 42-year-old Jalal Kheirabadi of Virginia, all USA residents were arrested as main suspects.

Erdogan's security staff moved in to break up an anti-government protest after police refused to make the demonstrators leave a park across the street. "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", said Royce in his letter. Online court records say he must return to court June 1 and Necmi on July 12.

The incident has increased tensions between the USA and Turkish governments.

"In the same way, we should never allow those groups who want to change the ethnic or religious structures in the region to use terrorism as a pretext".

The U.S. State Department summoned the Turkish Ambassador in Washington Serdar Kılıç on May 17 after the attack outside the Turkish diplomatic mission, according to various sources, relaying their "strongest possible" concern over the event.

Human rights groups have applauded the Trump administration for raising the issue.

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