World News

FM: US understands Turkey's position against Syrian Kurds

FM: US understands Turkey's position against Syrian Kurds

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had reiterated his pledge to destroy the US-backed YPG militia fighting Isis at their White House meeting on Tuesday. Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest. The statement said that the US communicated its concerns to the Turkish government "in the strongest possible terms". The Turkish embassy released a statement on May 17 that contradicted USA officials and video evidence, blaming instead the demonstrators, who, it said, had been "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president".

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.

Attacking the small group of protesters with their fists and feet, men in dark suits and others were recorded repeatedly kicking one woman as she lay curled on a sidewalk.

Turkey's official Anadolu news agency labeled the protesters Kurdish "supporters of terror".

Video has been released in which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan watches as his bodyguards attack Kurdish and Armenian protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington. "What we saw yesterday - a violent attack on a peaceful demonstration - is an affront to D.C. values and our rights as Americans", said D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D).

And Turkey's calls for the U.S.to extradite Fethullah Gulen, an influential Turkish cleric and Erdogan rival whom the Turkish government claims was behind a failed 2016 coup, have so far fallen on deaf ears.

"The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense", the statement said. "There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior".

Lawsuits can also be sought, said McCain, as "we can identify these people", but the first step should be to throw the ambassador out of the United States.

"I ask that you immediately look into this matter and bring all appropriate charges before these individuals leave the United States".

Erdogan then gets out of the vehicle, and starts to watch how his security detail beats the protesters, while the first bodyguard returns to him, as if briefing on the happening.

Police said they had arrested two people for assault and identified them as U.S. residents, 49-year-old Ayten Necmi of NY and 42-year-old Jalal Kheirabadi of Virginia.

The biggest dispute between Turkey and the USA recently has been the Trump administration's plans to arm Kurdish Syrian militants fighting the Islamic State group. A bodyguard was standing next to the car's open door and was updating the president on the situation, and Erdogan in turn was giving orders.


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