Turkey calls for ouster of top USA envoy leading anti-IS coalition

Ruben Ruiz
May 19, 2017

The United States said Thursday it had summoned Turkey's ambassador to the State Department, where the No. 2-ranked USA diplomat raised concerns about the security detail for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Washington, after the guards were recorded on video violently breaking up a protest.

Police Chief Peter Newsham said on Wednesday the violence was "not something we tolerate in our city".

The Turkish Embassy released a statement claiming the protestors were "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president", and thus caused Erdogan's supporters to respond in self-defense.

Erdogan's security detail won the street battle.

The Turkish foreign minister is calling for the removal of the U.S. envoy, claiming he is sympathetic to Kurdish Syrians as the top congressional Republican demands swift action after the Turkish president's security detail violently broke up a protest in Washington, DC.

Erdogan's speech on Thursday was his first public speech since returning from a trip to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington.

Video appeared to show Erdogan's bodyguards hitting and kicking protesters and pulling out guns as D.C. police tried to intervene. John McCain sent a letter to Erdogan on Thursday that describes the "violent response of your security detail" as a "blatant violation" of constitutional freedoms.

Two people were arrested as the result of the incident, which left a total of nine people injured - two of whom were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

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"We have long supported Turkey as a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and a key USA ally in the region, and we expect conduct more appropriate to our decades-long partnership".

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Two men were arrested at the scene, and police intend to pursue charges against others involved, the Metropolitan Police Department said Wednesday.

A group of Republican lawmakers went a step further, calling the episode an "affront to the United States" and calling for Turkey to apologize. While protesters chant across the street, Erdogan says something from inside the auto to a suited bodyguard standing outside his door.

"This isn't Turkey. This isn't a third-world country", McCain said on MSNBC.

However, the State Department did say that the investigation will "hold the responsible individuals accountable".

"We told them...we do not regard your cooperation with a terrorist group in Raqqa as healthy", Erdogan was cited as saying, but he said he expected a role for Turkey in Syria.

Other reports by GizPress

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