McCain: Turkish ambassador should get 'the hell out' after brawl

20 May, 2017, 09:50 | Author: Valerie Burke

Sen. John McCain said Thursday that Turkey's ambassador to the United States should be removed after a clash between Turkish security and protesters in Washington D.C. this week.

While protesters chant across the street, Erdogan says something from inside the vehicle to a suited bodyguard standing outside his door.

The US State Department released a statement saying it was "concerned by the violent incidents" and confirmed Turkish security guards were involved.

Newsham added that nine people were hospitalized following the skirmish, and two men were arrested.

The US police also branded the incident as a "brutal attack" on peaceful protesters.

"The demonstrators began aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the President".

McCain said "this kind of thing can not go unresponded to diplomatically". The statement said that the US communicated its concerns to the Turkish government "in the strongest possible terms". "This isn't Turkey. This isn't a third-world country, and this kind of thing can not go unresponded to diplomatically, and maybe in other ways".

The State Department, Secret Service and Washington, D.C. police are trying to identify the assailants.

Some of the protesters carried posters and flags linked to the PKK terrorist organization, an Anadolu Agency correspondent reported. Police appeared to struggle to keep the two groups separated.

The remarks from Graham and McCain come after Rep. Ed Royce of California, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called on the Trump administration to investigate whether criminal charges are warranted against any of the bodyguards.

"This is the United States of America", McCain wrote.

In video captured by the Voice of America, a handful of Erdogan's supporters and his security detail rushed the demonstrators and started hitting them.

The statement said a Turkish-American was "seriously injured" in self-defense.

Mr Erdogan, who met President Donald Trump earlier in the day, was visiting the Turkish ambassador's residence when the scuffle broke out.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday called for the removal of Brett McGurk, the top USA envoy to the coalition against Islamic State, alleging he supported Kurdish militants.

The Turkish embassy blamed protesters Thursday for Turkish security officials' attack in Washington, D.C., despite video evidence that contradicts their claims.

Now, CNN reports that some of the culprits behind the assaults were actually Turkish security officials.

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