Miércoles, 18 Octubre, 2017

USA decries violence during Turkish president's Washington visit

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce US anger after Erdogan guards beat protesters in Washington
Ramiro Mantilla | 19 May, 2017, 22:06

News reported on Wednesday that the men who attacked the protesters were bodyguards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

And Turkey's calls for the U.S.to extradite Fethullah Gulen, an influential Turkish cleric and Erdogan rival whom the Turkish government claims was behind a failed 2016 coup, have so far fallen on deaf ears.

"We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Video and photographs of the incident show men in dark suits and ties, some holding Turkish flags, kicking and hitting protesters.

"Our President told his counterpart that we would fight YPG", Mevlut Cavusoglu told private NTV television Thursday while discussing Tuesday's meeting between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Donald Trump. 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". "There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior", McCain initially tweeted after the incident.

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham condemned the action Wednesday as an "assault" on those protesting "peacefully", warning that the department will "pursue everything that's within our legal power to hold the folks that were responsible accountable for their actions".

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said it was "an affront to DC values and our rights as Americans". A bodyguard was standing next to the car's open door and was updating the president on the situation, and Erdogan in turn was giving orders.

Jalal Kheirabadi, 42, of Fairfax, Virginia, is charged with assaulting a police officer, who refused treatment for lacerations to his face.

The official also confirmed that two members of Erdogan's security detail "were briefly detained during the altercations and subsequently released" and returned to Turkey with Erdogan.

Court paperwork spells his name Kheirabaoi, but he said that is incorrect.

Trump angered Erdogan by agreeing to send arms to Syrian Kurds fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a move Turkey fears could empower its own Kurdish minority. Turkey insists that these YPG militants and their PYD political party are tied to the Kurdish insurgency in Turkey known as the PKK, which the US, the European Union and Turkey all consider a terrorist organization.

Cavusoglu said Turkey received U.S. assurances that arms sent to the YPG would be used only against IS, without explaining how this would be monitored.