John McCain calls for expulsion of Turkey's ambassador to US

Pauline Gross
May 20, 2017

But the Turkish Embassy said the demonstrators were aggressively provoking Turkish-Americans who had gathered to greet the president, and they in turn responded in self-defence.

Video emerged Thursday that shows Erdogan watching the melee from the back seat of a auto parked in front of Ambassador Serdar Kilic's residence.

Senator John McCain has urged the expulsion of Turkey's ambassador to the USA following a violent confrontation between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's bodyguards and protesters in Washington, DC.

The State Department called the latest incident "deeply disturbing", insisting that a "thorough investigation that will allow us to hold the responsible individuals accountable is of the upmost importance to us".

"We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America", the Arizona Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday.

The skirmish came after President Donald Trump had welcomed Erdogan to the White House on Tuesday and praised him as a stalwart ally in the battle against Islamic extremism, ignoring Erdogan's authoritarian crackdown on his own people and recent tensions between the United States and Turkey over the military campaign against the Islamic State group. "This isn't Turkey, this isn't a Third World country, and this kind of thing can not go un-responded to diplomatically", McCain said. "There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior", he tweeted.

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.

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Videos of the incident show people fighting in Washington D.C.'s Sheridan Circle.

Attacking the small group of protesters with their fists and feet, men in dark suits and others were recorded repeatedly kicking one woman as she lay curled on a sidewalk. Another person wrenches a woman's neck and throws her to the ground. It is unclear if they worked for the embassy or were members of the counter-protest.

The protesters said they were demonstrating peacefully until Erdogan's guards and supporters suddenly moved toward them.

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

Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is deemed a terrorist organisation by the United States, Turkey and the European Union.

Ankara regards the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which is a USA ally in the fight against Islamic State, as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group fighting a decades-old insurgency in southeastern Turkey.

Other reports by GizPress

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