Lawmakers Demand Swift Action for Turkish Embassy Violence

20 May, 2017, 09:59 | Author: Leticia Walters

Erdogan, who met with President Donald Trump at the White House just hours before the fighting broke out on Tuesday, briefly witnessed the brawl in which nine people were left requiring hospital treatment.

In video footage widely circulated, it appears clear that Erdogan instructed his suited bodyguards to move in on the group of protesters from the safety of his vehicle. To be able to understand how deep the reactions in the US goes, one has to see that as far as it is peaceful, the right to assemble and protest is one of the highest regarded, and nearly sacred, value in American democracy.

"We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America".

Police on Thursday referred questions about possible charges to the US attorney's office. John McCain, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called for the Turkish ambassador to be kicked out of the US.

DeSantis also expressed outrage over the attacks that happened outside the Turkish ambassador's residence on Tuesday, documented in videos.

The Turkish Embassy blamed the demonstrators, accusing them of provoking Turkish-Americans who were there to support Erdogan. Instead, Erdogan's guards were released under a globally recognized custom under which nations don't arrest or detain visiting heads of state and members of their delegations, said the official, who wasn't authorized to comment publicly on the matter and requested anonymity.

In April, the US had criticized Turkish airstrikes against Kurdish militants in Syria and Iraq.

McCain said "this kind of thing can not go unresponded to diplomatically".

In one of the most damning videos (see below), a man bends into the open back door of Erdogan's vehicle parked in the driveway outside the residence. As the protesters and security officials clashed, Erdogan is seen stepping out of his auto and watching the fighting for a few moments before turning and walking calmly into the residence.

New video published Thursday shows Erdogan's black Mercedes sedan surrounded by agents as it sat parked near the demonstrations. "If the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation remain silent on Erdogan's violations of human rights, the number of Turkish citizens being persecuted will likely increase, especially now that Erdogan has the authority to control all three branches of government". Turkey sees them as a PKK extension and an existential threat to Turkish sovereignty.

Erdogan discussed the fight against ISIS and the possibility of expanding trade with Trump during their meeting at the White House.

"We are already telling you in advance: Our rules of engagement give us this authority", Erdogan said.

The Trump administration rushed to McGurk's defense. The State Department issued a stern statement in response to the attack, but for many, that is not enough.

"Turkey is a key North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally that faces legitimate domestic security concerns emanating from ISIS, PKK, and other designated terrorist organizations", Nauert said.

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