Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

USA officials criticize Turkey after attack on DC protesters

USA officials criticize Turkey after attack on DC protesters

A congressional aide told The Associated Press that two members of Erdogan's security detail were detained on the scene Tuesday by diplomatic security agents. "Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest", said the statement, clearly stating that the demonstration in front of Kılıç's residence was legal, peaceful and protected.

Turkey's foreign minister also demanded that a U.S. envoy be removed for allegedly backing the Kurds, but the State Department said Brett McGurk has the "full support" of the Trump administration.

Nine people were injured in the violence, some of whom were kicked and stamped while on the ground.

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 Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense", the statement said.

President Erdogan's security staff can be seen kicking and beating Turkish anti-government protesters in Washington.

"We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms".

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said it was "an affront to DC values and our rights as Americans".

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The State Department did not say whether any further action would be taken, but Washington, DC police said they were studying footage of the incident and trying to identify suspects.

Speaking in Istanbul two days after meeting President Donald Trump in Washington, Erdogan criticised the United States decision to ally with "terror organisations" for the long-awaited operation to capture Raqqa, the de facto capital of IS.

Police Chief Peter Newsham said on Wednesday the violence was "not something we tolerate in our city". "We will continue to work with our partners at the United States State Department and United States Secret Service to identify and hold all subjects accountable for their involvement in the altercation".

A video shows the Turkish president standing near his vehicle as the fighting ensued, before turning his back and walking into the embassy.

Cavusoglu said Turkey received US assurances that arms sent to the YPG would only be used against IS and not against Turkey, with a promise to support Turkey's fight against the PKK. Kheirabadi said he is a Kurd who passed through Turkey as a refugee and is now a USA citizen.

Tensions between Washington and Istanbul are running high after the Trump administration announced plans to arm Kurdish Syrian militants fighting the Islamic State group despite intense opposition from Turkey, which considers the Kurds as terrorists.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the Trump administration understood Turkey's position against the YPG.

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