Turkish ties hit rough patch after rough Erdogan visit

19 May, 2017, 18:18 | Author: Benny Bass

Turkey has yet to face any repercussions from the US government after its security personnel attacked protesters outside of the Turkish ambassador's residence on Tuesday night when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in Washington for meeting with President Trump.

Ambassador Serdar Kılıç met with Under Secretary of State Tom Shannon on Wednesday, officials tell the BBC.

Turkey's embassy blamed the violence on demonstrators, saying they aggressively provoked Turkish-American citizens gathered to see Erdogan.

Borazan, a Turkey-born Kurdish, wrote in a separate statement on her Facebook account: "Today I experienced firsthand the extent and savagery of Turkish fascism: My Kurdish friends and allies were protesting peacefully against Erdoğan being in Washington when we were suddenly attacked by a group of Erdoğan's official bodyguards and secret police".

The meeting took place with a White House still responding to what a senior US official said was Trump's disclosure of classified information about an Islamic State terror threat involving laptop computers on aircraft. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in a Thursday interview on MSNBC.

Eleven people, including a United States officer were hurt in the brawl.

On Wednesday (US time), Turkey's official Anadolu news agency labeled the protesters Kurdish "supporters of terror".

And that's what we saw playing out later that day near the Turkish embassy grounds, when otherwise peaceful protesters were set upon by Turkish government thugs.

Two arrests were made and Washington, D.C. police said other suspects were being sought.

Turkey's foreign minister also demanded that a USA envoy be removed for allegedly backing the Kurds, but the State Department said Brett McGurk has the "full support" of the Trump administration.

VOA's Turkish service says the protesters at the scene were Kurdish supporters calling for pro-Kurdish lawmaker Selahattin Demirtas' release from prison.

Erdogan said he told the United States that Turkey would not shirk from military engagement if it faced a threat, in a clear reference to the YPG.

Mr Erdogan met Trump at the White House on Tuesday, with the two leaders pledging to improve ties between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies - even as Mr Erdogan gave a stern warning about Washington's arming of Kurdish militia in Syria.

"This kind of thing cannot go unresponded to diplomatically", and suggested lawsuits would be filed if the bodyguard responsible can't be identified.

US government officials have been roundly critical of the guard's actions.

After meetings and a joint press statement, Erdogan rode to the Turkish ambassador's residence, where anti-Erdogan demonstrators were protesting, until a violent attack by Turkish security forces broke everything up.

Police called the violence a "brutal attack on peaceful protesters".

"The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured", the Embassy claimed.

Still, the State Department said it was expressing "concern" to Turkey over the incident "in the strongest possible terms".

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