USA decries Washington, DC, brawl during Erdogan's visit

USA decries Washington, DC, brawl during Erdogan's visit

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a statement to reporters alongside U.S President Donald Trump after their meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S. May 16, 2017.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday he wanted Brett McGurk, the USA special envoy to the coalition against Islamic State, removed from his post, saying he supported Kurdish militants.

The Turkish ambassador, Serdar Kilic, was summoned to the State Department on Wednesday and rebuked.

New video footage has emerged that shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looking on as Turkish security officials beat up protesters outside the country's embassy in Washington earlier this week.

The footages recorded in the street on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C., showed members of the Turkish security personnel pushing past U.S. police and assaulting the protesters as Erdogan was due to arrive in the Turkish ambassador's residence. 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. A man with bullhorn is repeatedly kicked in the face.

Eyewitness accounts, along with the testimony of Washington DC's police chief, confirm that the protest was loud but peaceful until Erdogan's goons waded in and attacked.

Erdogan said he told the United States that Turkey could not be part of the operation to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State because of the participation of the YPG. Video shows Erdogan supporters and bodyguards flooding through the police line and beating protesters on American soil.

The embassy responded by claiming that Erdogan's protection detail was acting in "self-defense" against the protesters, which the Turkish government claims were terrorists associated with PKK, a left-wing Kurdish political party.

Nine people were hurt and two people were arrested during the incident on Tuesday, and a D.C. Fire and EMS spokesperson reported two of those who were hurt sustained serious injuries and were taken to hospitals.

"We clearly told them if there is any attack by the YPG against Turkey, we will apply the rules of engagement without asking anyone", he was quoted as saying by the Hurriyet newspaper Thursday. "We are telling you this now in advance", he said.

"Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, according to the AP.

This is a ticklish worldwide situation that will put Mr. Trump's diplomatic skills to the test. Turkey has been a valuable ally in the ongoing fight against Muslim terrorists.

Cavusoglu said Trump's administration seems more understanding about Turkey's security concerns.

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