Turkey Calls US Actions Against Erdogan Bodyguards "Aggressive and Unprofessional"

Cheryl Sanders
May 28, 2017

Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday that US authorities were "aggressive and unprofessional" during a confrontation with protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's Northwest D.C. residence last week, and the ministry has demanded a "full investigation of this diplomatic incident".

The brawl has added to the U.S. and Turkey's already strained ties.

The Turkish foreign ministry said the U.S. ambassador was given a "written and verbal protest" against actions said to be "contrary to diplomatic rules and practices".

Turkey, US demand investigations into protest brawlA recent brawl outside the Turkish Ambassador's home in Washington has sparked a diplomatic dispute. DC police officers were involved in the brawl, and one of them was among the nine people injured.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday called the incident "outrageous", but said he would wait for a State Department review before taking further action - sparking dismay among prominent Republican lawmakers.

But the Turkish government did not accept that criticism and, in a statement, attacked "the inability of us authorities to take sufficient precautions at every stage" of Erdogan's visit.

Video from the brawl spread rapidly across social media, with some in the USA calling for the prosecution of the Turkish guards who seemingly kicked and choked protesters, the Washington Post reports.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said that USA security personnel were "aggressive" and "unprofessional". Erdogan's critics say that the protest is a good gauge of his leadership. The security personnel have returned to Turkey.

Turkey didn't specify the actions by USA security officials it deemed inappropriate.

Ankara has requested "a full investigation of this diplomatic incident".

The Guardian reported that state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert stated that "We are [The US] communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms". Turkey has been angered by the Trump administration's decision to arm a Kurdish force to fight the Islamic State militant group in Syria in partnership with the United States. Turkey considers the rebels to be terrorists, the United States seems they as its best ally in defecting the jihadists.

The Turkish government's framing of the incident has infuriated some leading USA lawmakers, including GOP Sen.

"During that incident, Americans saw lawful protesters attacked at Sheridan Circle", he said.

When the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, arrived at the Turkish embassy at Washington, he was greeted by demonstrators who had assembled before the embassy, peacefully demonstrating against his draconian policies.

US Senator John McCain said that the Turkish ambassador should be thrown "the hell out of the United States of America" after the fighting.

Other reports by iNewsToday