Turkey Blames U.S. For Violence It Helped Spark At D.C. Protest

Turkish security guards kicked and beat up protesters last week.

The blame-game continues for the fight between protesters opposing Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish security forces last week in Washington, with Turkey faulting “the inability of U.S. authorities to take sufficient precautions at every stage of the official program.”

John Bass, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, was summoned to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday in Ankara and given “written and verbal protest” that blamed the altercation on “aggressive and unprofessional actions taken, contrary to diplomatic rules and practices, by U.S. personnel,” according to a statement by the Turkish government.

“It has been formally requested that the U.S. authorities conduct a full investigation of this diplomatic incident and provide the necessary explanation” of the violence that occurred outside the Turkish embassy in Washington last Tuesday, the statement said. 

Armenian, Kurdish, Greek and Yazidi groups were protesting Erdogan’s meeting at the White House earlier in the day with President Donald Trump when men in suits began kicking and beating protesters. Video shows D.C. police officiers unable to quickly get the situation under control.

The State Department confirmed last Wednesday that Turkish security personnel were involved. Turkey’s ambassador to the U.S., Serdar Kilic, was summoned to the State Department last week and a department official termed the conduct of Turkish security personnel “deeply disturbing,” according to CNN.

Several members of Congress pushed more forceful action against members of the Turkish security detail. And Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) called for the Turkish ambassador to be sent home.

Two people who live in the U.S. were arrested in the clash and at least 12 people, including a police officer, were injured.

 The U.S.-Turkish alliance has been rocky ever since a failed coup last summer was blamed on Turkish cleric Fetullah Gulen, who is exiled in the U.S. Plus, Turkey blames Washington for propping up the YPG, an armed Kurdish group in Syria, as a means of battling the Islamic State .

Erdogan has jailed 47,000 people since last summer and has eliminated about 130,000 government jobs in a post-coup crackdown. 



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