United States releases 2 Turkish bodyguards after violence

Vincent Carr
May 19, 2017

Turkey has been a useful, if prickly, USA ally that has proved particularly useful in the struggle against the Islamic State.

The Turkish Embassy in the US blamed the violence on the protesters, who included Kurds, a minority group with tensions with the Turkish government.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan watched on Tuesday as his supporters and Turkish security forces violently attacked protesters in Washington, D.C., according to a video posted to Facebook on Thursday afternoon by Voice of America's Turkish division. US lawmakers demanded stronger action.

The PKK is considered a terror group by the US and Turkey's Western allies.

The guards' release left the US struggling to point to anything that amounts to accountability.

The State Department condemned the attack as an assault on free speech and warned Turkey that the action would not be tolerated.

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

"There must be consequences", Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said Thursday. Sen.

"With President Obama, we had a mutual agreement about the PKK - but Obama deceived us", Erdogan said, before adding: "I don't believe the Trump administration will do the same". A guard grabs another woman's neck and throws her to the ground. Nine people were hurt. "Turkey is not a country that will consent to such treatment", Erdogan said in a speech to business leaders in Istanbul.

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Close-up footage shared on social media showed Turkish officials dressed in suits beating and punching people in the crowd and, in at least one case, kicking out at a woman splayed on the ground. He then "exited the vehicle and looked directly toward the melee feet away".

In a statement Wednesday, Washington police said the incident outside the Turkish embassy stood "in contrast to the First Amendment rights and principles we work tirelessly to protect each and every day".

Turkey regards the PKK as a terrorist group.

Differences over Syria policy have caused friction with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Washington.

He says there must be a diplomatic response to the incident from the Trump administration.

Yet the United States views the YPG, a central part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as its main ally in the battle on the ground against ISIL. Senator John McCain, R-AZ, and Senator Claire McCaskill, D-MO, both called for the expulsion of Turkey's ambassador.

Maybe Mr. Trump should consider building a wall around the Turkish ambassador's home in Washington where the real trouble seems to be, not along the U.S. "We are telling you this now in advance", he said. "We will take such a step and we won't discuss it or consult with anyone". 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.

Meanwhile, the US State Department issued a statement saying McGurk has the full support of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the White House.

Still, Nauert sought to acknowledge Turkey's misgivings about terrorism by the PKK and other groups.

Other reports by BadHub

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