Turkey, US demand investigations into protest brawl

World Today

A recent brawl outside the Turkish Ambassador’s home in Washington has sparked a diplomatic dispute.

Turkey has now summoned the U.S. ambassador to demand an investigation.

This follows the U.S. demanding similar actions from Ankara.

CGTN’S Jessica Stone reports.
Follow Jessica Stone on Twitter @JessicaStoneTV

Turkey, US demand investigations into protest brawl

Turkey, US demand investigations into protest brawl

A recent brawl outside the Turkish Ambassador's home in Washington has sparked a diplomatic dispute. Turkey has now summoned the U.S. ambassador to demand an investigation.

 

Last week, near a park close to the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, a peaceful protest turned into an all-out brawl in an instant.

Video shows men in dark suits, which Washington D.C. police identified as Turkish security officers. They’re seen punching, kicking and shoving men and women.

Police said their officers used clubs to break up the fight between the protesters and security.

Nearly a dozen people injured and taken to nearby hospitals. Police said two people, including at least one protester, were arrested.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had just wrapped up his meetings with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House.

A separate VOA video shows Erdogan watching the melee from the driveway of the ambassador’s residence.

Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported that “DC Police did not heed Turkish demands to intervene” which is why parts of Erdogan’s detail moved in to “disperse them.” Monday, Ankara summoned the U.S. ambassador and called for an investigation.

In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry wrote in part “it was emphasized that the lapses of security experienced during our President’s stay in Washington, which were caused by the inability of U.S. authorities to take sufficient precautions at every stage”.

The U.S. State Department has called the incident “deeply disturbing.”

“We did call the ambassador of Turkey into the State Department to discuss what occurred with them and express our view that this is simply unacceptable. There is an ongoing investigation.”, said Rex Tillerson the U.S. Secretary of State

Two senior lawmakers wrote a letter to Erdogan last week calling on the White House to remove the Turkish ambassador to the U.S. for allowing the guards to interfere with the First Amendment rights of Americans.

“These are Erdogan’s security detail. Someone told them to go out there and beat up on these peaceful demonstrators, and I think it should have repercussions including identifying these people and bringing charges against them. After all, they violated American laws in the United States of America., said John McCain a senator.

The State Department says it released two members of Erdogan’s detail after briefly detaining them. The security personnel have returned to Turkey.