Forty members of the U.S. House of Representatives are calling on the US government to bar from entry or expel the Turkish personnel said to have brawled with protesters outside the Turkish Ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C. last week.
The group has signed a letter, addressed to the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday.
“Foreign nationals who cannot respect the rule of law of this great country should not be allowed to enjoy the rights and privileges it affords,” wrote the lawmakers.
“Allies do not threaten U.S. troops and allies do not attack U.S. citizens on American soil. We ask you to uphold law and order and demand accountability from the [Turkey’s President Recep] Erdogan government.”
“All of those involved—at all levels—must be held accountable,” said Representative Randy Hultgren via statement. Hultgren is a commissioner on both the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and the Helsinki Commission.
BRAWL BREAKS OUT
On May 16, nearly one dozen people were injured, and two were arrested, after a fight broke out between protesters and Turkish security officers.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan had just wrapped up his meetings with US President Donald Trump at the White House.
A Voice of America video shows Erdogan watching the melee from the driveway of the ambassador’s residence.
Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported that “D.C. 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 to Turkey to deliver a message. According to a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, “it was emphasized that the lapses of security experienced during our President’s stay in Washington, which were caused by the inability of US 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 Secretary Tillerson.
The Trump administration said it released two members of Erdogan’s detail after briefly detaining them. The guards have returned to Turkey.