Arrest warrants out for Turkish agents, others in DC melee

2 Turkish men reportedly arrested by US Marshals over fight with peaceful protesters in DC

U.S. prosecutors have charged a dozen Turkish security and police officers with assault after an attack on protesters in Washington during Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's visit to the U.S. capital last month, officials said on Thursday.

In a charging document presented in court Thursday against Sinan Narin, one of four Turkish-Americans already arrested in the case, Washington police detective Victor DePeralta called the incident a "vicious attack". Newsham said his officers worked hand-in-hand with State Department officials and the Secret Service, poring over footage of the fight and comparing assailants' faces to passport and visa images. Eyup Yildirim, of New Jersey is charged with assault with significant bodily injury, aggravated assault, and misdemeanor assault or threatened assault in a menacing manner.

Two people were arrested on site, and MPD made two more arrests yesterday, charging a Virginia and a New Jersey resident.

Erdogan's security detail returned with him to Turkey after his visit.

It is unlikely that Turkey would extradite the men to the United States.

The skirmish broke out this May after Erdogan and his security detail met with President Donald Trump at the White House on May 16.

Turkish officials have blamed DC police for creating an unsafe environment by failing to suppress the protesters, an allegation Newsham rejected.

Video of the fracas shows Turkish security aides beating demonstrators and kicking those some on the ground repeatedly in the head.

The State Department spokesperson told reporters that worldwide law allows heads of state customary protections/immunity for members of an entourage, which they lose upon leaving the US.


Addressing a question whether law enforcement believes that Mr. Erdogan ordered the attacks, the police chief said they didn't have enough evidence at the moment to bring up charges.

The events occurred on May 16 immediately after Erdogan's visit with President Donald Trump at the White House, and led to a major rift between the USA and Turkey at a time when relations are already strained.

After learning about arrest warrants, the Turkish foreign ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, John Bass, in protest.

The embassy alleged that demonstrators had been "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president". If they ever return to the United States, however, they risk being arrested, according to the New York Times.

On June 6th, with a vote of 397 to 0, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously condemned Turkey in response to the attacks, taking a powerful stand against Ankara's attempts to export its violence and intolerance to America's shores.

Despite all the ballyhoo about first amendment rights and Capitol Hill's eagerness to contrast American freedom of speech with Erdogan's strongman tactics, Turkey doesn't seem particularly embarrassed.

In one clip, the suit-clad guards can be seen repeatedly kicking a woman as she lay on a sidewalk.

Nesham said video showed security guards and some Erdogan supporters attacking a small group of protesters. His security personnel allegedly attacked protesters outside of the Turkish ambassador's residence.

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