Two arrested over brawl during Turkish leader's USA visit
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Jun 16, 2017,
Jun 16, 2017, 6:12
Four other people, two Canadians and two Turkish Americans, were charged, D.C. police said.
Similarly, the Washington, D.C., police chief said the department would arrest any of the individuals if they returned to the USA, although he would rather they turn themselves in.
Yildirim, a 50-year-old construction company owner from New Jersey, faces charges of assault with significant bodily injury and aggravated assault. The second man faces two felony assault charges and a misdemeanour assault charge.
Erdogan's security detail returned with him to Turkey after his visit, so it is unclear if any will face legal repercussions in the United States.
The Turkish Embassy has blamed the violence on demonstrators linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, which Turkey and the United States consider a terrorist group - a charged denied by the protesters.
"In the United States, and particularly in the District of Columbia, we hold our ability to peacefully protest as a sacred right", Newsham said.
Erdogan watched the beatdown from his auto and a few hours later left the country with his security detail - which presents a bit of a problem with actually meting out punishment.
Two men were arrested at the time and two more were picked up on Wednesday.
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DC police have reportedly identified 34 of the 42 people who were allegedly involved in the broad daylight melee.
The security officers are no longer protected by the immunity extended to them during Erdogan's recent visit, the State Department said. We support them. We make sure that they are safe, but we also make sure that they follow our laws.
11 people were injured during the confrontation. "We are hopeful that those responsible will do their part and present themselves to answer to these charges", Newsham said.
The Turkish foreign ministry officially "invited" the U.S. ambassador in for discussions after the announcement. Moments after one of Erdogan's bodyguards briefly spoke to someone in the auto, multiple members of the bodyguard team charged across the street, brushed past overwhelmed police officers and began punching, kicking and choking protesters. Hamparian's video showed pro-Erdogan forces crossing a police line and beating peaceful protesters - elderly men and several women - who were on the ground bleeding during most of the attack.
"During the meeting with the Ambassador, it was emphasized that the lapses of security experienced during our President's stay in Washington, which were caused by the inability of USA authorities to take sufficient precautions at every stage of the official program, will not overshadow what in every other aspect was a very successful and important visit", it added.
Some of the protesters were associated with the Armenian National Committee of America and accuse Erdogan of running a politically repressive government.
The fracas in the streets of the U.S. capital brought condemnation from members of the U.S. Congress and city officials. Some Turkish citizens and the head of the president's security detail stepped in.