Erdogan warns Turkey opposition chief over 'justice march'

Lance Nichols
June 18, 2017

Narin has been charged with felony assault, and Yildirim was charged with two counts of felony assault. It said Eyup Yildirim had been arrested in New Jersey on charges of assault with significant bodily injury and aggravated assault.

According to ABC News, the State Department is considering barring those individuals from future entry into the US.

Turkey has not stated whether it will hand-over the officials concerned to the US for prosecution or waive their diplomatic immunity.

Narin and Yildirim were both participants in the protests, according to a USA official familiar with the case.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised the United States decision to issue arrest warrants for 12 of his bodyguards allegedly linked with a brawl outside the Turkish embassy in Washington, DC. Two men on the list have been reportedly arrested.

Washington DC's District Police Chief Peter Newsham said nine Turkish security agents, three Turkish police officers and two Canadians were being sought over the brawl. Police are expected to release photos of the other 8 possible suspects and appeal to the public for information on their identities, the official said.

The violence erupted in broad daylight in Washington's diplomatic quarter, just minutes after Erdogan arrived at the ambassador's residence from the White House.

Shortly after Erdogan's limousine pulled up, his security officers and supporters rushed across the street at the protesters "in a almost simultaneous, coordinated throng", the detective said. Another woman was thrown to the ground, and a man with a bullhorn was kicked in the face.

A Washington police spokesman described the assault as a "brutal attack on a peaceful protest" that left 11 people were hurt, nine of them badly enough to receive hospital treatment.


The fracas added to already strained U.S.

Though allies and fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members, Turkey and America have grown distant in recent years because of American support for Syrian Kurdish forces that Turkey regards as a franchise of the P.K.K., a Kurdish nationalist militia fighting a guerrilla war in southeastern Turkey. Turkey considers the fighters to be an extension the Kurdish insurgency in Turkey known as the PKK, and claims without evidence that protesters who showed up during Erdogan's visit to Washington last week were themselves associated with the PKK.

Heather Nauert, state department spokesperson, declined to say what actions might be taken, but the USA could seek the extradition of the Turkish suspects or bar them from entering the US. The Turkish Foreign Ministry then summoned the USA ambassador to Turkey to complain about the treatment of the detained security guards.

The incident caused outrage in the United States and House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday demanded that Turkey condemn the violence and apologize.

They said the police's tolerance of "so-called protesters" near the ambassador's residence ran "counter to any understanding of justice".

However, they could end up being threatened with arrest if they return to the US.

But Mehmet Yuksel, who arrived immediately after the incident and knows nearly all of the dozen or so demonstrators, said they weren't connected with the PKK.

Chief Newsham said that no staff members from the Turkish Embassy in Washington were implicated in the attack.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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