United States summons Turkey envoy for embassy brawl

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 20, 2017

Police said the fighting outside the Turkish ambassador's residence on Tuesday injured 11 people, including a Washington police officer, and led to two arrests for assault. The department says the ambassador met Wednesday with Tom Shannon, the acting deputy secretary of state and highest-ranking career US diplomat.

Erdogan was in Washington to meet with Donald Trump when members of the Kurdish community made a decision to protest outside the ambassador's residence. Video shows Erdogan supporters and bodyguards flooding through the police line and beating protesters on American soil.

That's not something that we will tolerate here in Washington D.C. This is a city where people should be allowed to come and peacefully protest.

The descent of Turkey into a strongman state is discouraging, and there's no sign that it's going to turn around any time soon.

In their vigorous but so far faltering attempts to shift US policy, Turkish officials have increasingly taken to blaming disagreements with the Trump administration over Syria on President Barack Obama and, specifically, holdovers from the Obama administration, including McGurk.

"We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America", said McCain on MSNBC's Morning Joe show, in response to video that appears to show the violence.

"This kind of thing cannot go unresponded to diplomatically", and suggested lawsuits would be filed if the bodyguard responsible can't be identified. "But, when we look at people who are on the ground, both in Syria and in Iraq, we see that they are the same people. Turkish Ambassador should be kicked out of country".

McCain also sent a letter to Erdogan along with his Democratic colleague, Sen.

"We have long supported Turkey as a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and a key U.S. ally in the region, and we expect conduct more appropriate to our decades-long partnership".

Heather Nauert, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement that McGurk "has the full support and backing" of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the White House, and that he had done "tremendous work" so far to coordinate the coalition.

Mr Erdogan, who met President Donald Trump earlier in the day, was visiting the Turkish ambassador's residence when the scuffle broke out.

Two men - 49-year-old Ayten Necmi of NY state and 42-year-old Jalal Kheirabaoi from Virginia - were arrested.

The Turkish embassy released a statement on May 17 that contradicted USA officials and video evidence, blaming instead the demonstrators, who, it said, had been "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president".

"We intend to ensure accountability of anybody involved", said DC police chief Peter Newsham of the situation.

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