nsucurrent.com March 20, 2018

DC police to charge 12 Turkish security agents

16 June 2017, 06:09 | Colleen Roy

DC police to charge 12 Turkish security agents

US Marshals arrest 2 Turkish men accused of role in embassy beating

Authorities in Washington, DC, announced on Thursday that 12 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail would face criminal charges for violently suppressing a group of peaceful protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence last month.

The "brawl" in front of the Turkish Ambassador's Residence "was caused by the failure of local security authorities to take necessary measures. and therefore that Turkish citizens can not be held responsible for the incident that took place".

According to Nick Fandos of The New York Times who broke the story, "The Washington police have been investigating the May 16 incident along with the State Department and the Secret Service".

Earlier in the day, Reuters spotlighted that two other individuals - Sinan Narin of Virginia and Eyup Yildirim of New Jersey - have also been charged in the May 2017 incident.

Turkey's foreign ministry has "invited" the USA ambassador in Ankara to condemn arrest warrants issued for a dozen Turkish security agents accused of attacking protesters during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Washington last month.

"We all saw the violence that was perpetrated against the protesters", Chief Newsham said. Things became messy when the security detail and a few Erdogan supporters attacked the protesters.

The two men arrested Wednesday are Turkish nationals.

Investigators were able to identify the suspects using video footage, Newsham told reporters.

The State Department lodged a formal protest with Ankara over the incident at the time, registering its concern in the "strongest possible terms". "We support them to make sure they are safe".

Nine people were injured, with several going to the hospital for treatment of head injuries, broken teeth, deep cuts and bruises.

Turkish Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned U.S. ambassador to Ankara, John Bass, to protest the issue of United States arrest warrants for members of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail.

Nauert also said US Ambassador to Turkey, John Bass "attended some meetings at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs today in Turkey" amid reports he'd been summoned by Ankara.

Chief Newsham added that those charged who are part of Mr. Erdogan's security team are not protected by diplomatic immunity and will immediately be arrested if they attempt to enter the United States.

Toronto's Ahmet Dereci, a devoted supporter of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was captured on video joining Erdogan's bodyguards in a May attack that sent nine people to the hospital and became an worldwide incident. "We hope that, in the future, appropriate measures will be taken to ensure that similar provocative actions causing harm and violence do not occur". The men in suits could be seen repeatedly stomping one woman as she lay curled on a sidewalk.

The embassy alleged that demonstrators had been "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president".

The Turkish embassy claims the bodyguards were acting in self-defense, accusing the protesters of being affiliated with a Turkish opposition group.

The incident was caught on camera and caused a diplomatic crisis, with Turkey and the US summoning each other's ambassadors and members of Congress expressing outrage.

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