Turkey slams US over 'aggressive' acts against bodyguards

Carla Harmon
May 22, 2017

In a statement Monday, Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the ambassador was summoned and "a written and verbal protest was delivered due to the aggressive and unprofessional actions taken, contrary to diplomatic rules and practices, by US security personnel towards the close protection team of H.E Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu".

Turkey summoned John Bass, the U.S ambassador to Ankara, to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, in protest at the treatment of Turkish security personnel following a brawl in Washington last week. The U.S. summoned Turkey's U.S. ambassador last week after the Turkish security officers were seen hitting and kicking protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence; one video shared on social media even showed Erdogan watching the melee.

The Turkish foreign ministry said it summoned the US ambassador to protest "aggressive and unprofessional actions" by USA security personnel to the security team of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Turkey has stepped up training of the Free Syrian Army, which has fought alongside Turkish forces against the Islamic State group and USA -backed Kurdish rebels, official media said Saturday.

The official also confirmed that two members of Erdogan's security detail "were briefly detained during the altercations and subsequently released" and returned to Turkey with Erdogan.

Anadolu said the training was stepped up after Turkey declared in March an end to the first phase of its cross-border operation with FSA against the Islamic State group and US -backed Syrian Kurdish militants in northern Syria.

Pressure has been mounting on the Trump administration not to let the violence on US soil go unpunished.

The incident on May 16 isn't the first time security breaches took place during a US visit by a Turkish leader.

U.S. officials said Erdogan's bodyguards attacked a small group of pro-Kurdish protesters gathered outside the building and the incident ignited a storm of controversy. Last year, violence erupted outside Erdoğan's appearance at a nuclear security summit in Washington, and there have also been scuffles at the United Nations. Bass joined the visiting diplomat as her motorcade ferried Haley to an Ankara hotel.

Other reports by iNewsToday