Two Turkish Americans arrested over embassy brawl



Thu, 15 Jun 2017 - 03:29 GMT


Thu, 15 Jun 2017 - 03:29 GMT

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan - File photo

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan - File photo

Washington, June 15, 2017: Two Turkish-American men were arrested Wednesday for their role in a Washington brawl with protesters on May 16 following the White House visit by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Washington police said.

New Jersey contractor Eyup Yildirim -- seen in video footage attacking protestors with Erdogan's bodyguards and kicking a woman -- was charged with assault with significant bodily injury and aggravated assault.

A second suspect who also seen in videos kicking a protestor, Virginia resident Sinan Narin, was charged with aggravated assault.

The brawl took place outside the residence of Turkey's ambassador to Washington shortly after President Donald Trump warmly received Erdogan at the White House.

Video recordings of the incident show Erdogan supporters and his bodyguards clashing with Kurdish and Armenian protesters who accuse the Turkish president of rights abuses.

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.

A Washington police spokesman described the assault as a "brutal attack on a peaceful protest" that left 11 people were hurt, nine of them badly enough to receive hospital treatment.

Two men were arrested at the time, and the US State Department registered concern to Turkey in the "strongest possible terms."

The attack was an embarrassment for US authorities, who invited Erdogan to meet Trump despite concerns over his government's increasingly authoritarian clampdown on his domestic media and opposition.

But the following week the Turkish government summoned the US ambassador to protest "aggressive behavior" by US security personnel and "security lapses" in the incident.

On June 6 US lawmakers passed a resolution which strongly condemned Turkey for the incident, and called for criminal charges against those responsible.



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