Turkish President condemns US arrest warrants for aides

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A dozen members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail will face charges for their involvement in a violent attack on protestors in Washington, D.C., last month, two us officials told The New York Times.

Two other suspects, whose charges were announced Thursday alongside the Turkish security personnel, are Canadian citizens, Newsham said.

Mahmut Sami Ellialti and Ahmet Cengizham Dereci face charges of felony assault with significant bodily injury.

Mr Erdogan's security personnel returned to Turkey with him so it is unclear if they will face arrest.

Turkey's U.S. 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.

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. Turkish citizens were moved from the area by the police, but PKK sympathizers stayed where they were.

"Any additional actions regarding execution of these warrants will be weighed by the State Department as appropriate under relevant laws and regulations", he added, noting the State Department has been helpful in supporting the investigation, and insisting no one from the Turkish embassy has been implicated. We support them, we make sure they are safe, but we also make sure they follow our laws and - certainly - anyone traveling to the United States will be held to that same standard.


People injured in the attack and federal lawmakers have criticized the initial response, which was complicated by issues over diplomatic immunity and relations with Turkey. "If they attempt to enter the United States they will be arrested", Newsham said.

The clash happened as Erdogan arrived at the ambassador's residence after a White House meeting with President Donald Trump on May 16.

The showdown between Erdogan's guards and the protesters came as tensions between the USA and Turkey continued to rise over America's backing of the Syrian Kurdish rebels.

Erdogan's visit sparked outrage after a video surfaced of Turkish president's security guards and supporters attacking a group of protesters outside the embassy. He repeatedly urged those with an outstanding warrant to turn themselves over to USA officials.

The Turkish bodyguards assaulted the demonstrators shortly after President Erdoğan arrived at his ambassador's residence in the USA capital. The men in suits could be seen repeatedly stomping one woman as she lay curled on a sidewalk. When asked about the footage, Newsham said his department did not have "probable cause" to arrest the Turkish president.

"When you have folks that are peacefully protesting here in Washington, D.C., which is a place where we welcome peaceful protest, and they are attacked for no reason, we think it's extremely important", MPD Chief Peter Newsham told reporters.

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