Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

US, Turkey spar over Erdogan visit violence, Kurdish support

US, Turkey spar over Erdogan visit violence, Kurdish support

McGurk was in northern Syria on Tuesday and Wednesday for talks with the leadership of the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, and the YPG, according to a source in the nascent Raqqa city civilian council. Washington considers the Syrian Kurds an effective force against IS.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu insisted at the time that Turkey was not seeking to become an adversary to the European Union, but complained about the approach.

The US State Department has denounced the brutality of the security personnel accompanying the Turkish President after they roughed anti-Erdogan protesters Tuesday in Washington.

"We should throw the Turkish ambassador out of the country, we should identify those people that performed these unlawful acts of beating people up and they should be charged", Senator John McCain said on national television on Thursday morning.

McCain said "this kind of thing can not go unresponded to diplomatically".

"I believe they will knock on our door on the subject of Syria", he said.

"Brett McGurk, the USA's special envoy in the fight against Daesh (Islamic State), is definitely and clearly giving support to the PKK and YPG". We do not do this here. "There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior".

Erdogan was in Washington, DC to meet with President Donald Trump, who praised him as a loyal ally in the battle against Islamic extremism. According to reports, Erdogan's bodyguards pushed past United States police and assaulted a group of protesters hours after the meeting.

They stood peacefully waiting for Turkey's president to show up at the embassy in Washington, D.C.

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Attacking with their fists and feet, men in dark suits and others are seen repeatedly kicking one woman as she lay curled on a sidewalk. Seconds later, a group of men run across the street and start punching and kicking protesters.

Several other Senate Republicans, including Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, called on the Turkish government to immediately apologize for the violence.

The hard line that the Trump administration has wanted to apply to peace-loving immigrants who are in this country illegally must apply to visitors who wantonly break this nation's laws.

The Trump administration concedes that it released two members of Erdogan's detail after holding them briefly after the incident outside the Turkish ambassador's residence. An embassy statement said the group had "aggressively provoked Turkish-American citizens" who had gathered to greet Erdogan.

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

The embassy responded by claiming that Erdogan's protection detail was acting in "self-defense" against the protesters, which the Turkish government claims were terrorists associated with PKK, a left-wing Kurdish political party.

Erdogan, speaking to a group of business leaders in Istanbul, said he told the United States that Turkey would "exercise its rights under the rules of engagement", without consulting anyone, if it faced a threat.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan angrily told Washington at the time to choose between Ankara and "terrorists".

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