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New footage shows Turkish president watching Washington brawl

New footage shows Turkish president watching Washington brawl

Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kiliç was called in to the State Department to meet with U.S. Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon hours after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's guards violently entered a crowd of protesters, U.S. officials said Thursday.

Ceres Borazan, a Kurd from Turkey who came to the United States in 2013, had travelled to Washington from New Jersey to protest Mr Erdogan's visit to the U.S. when she was caught up in a brawl with Turkish security detail that injured at least 12 people, including a police officer.

Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham told a news conference Wednesday, "We intend to assure that there is accountability for anyone involved in this assault".

"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.

They "began aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the President".

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., called for the arrest and prosecution of members of Erdogan's security detail.

Turkey's embassy blamed the violence on groups linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - a group fighting the government.

Praising the Turkish president as a strong ally in the fight against terrorism, Trump chose not to address Erdogan's authoritarian crackdown on his own people. A video showed two men bleeding from the head, and men in dark suits punching and kicking protesters, some lying on the ground. After the violence, Arizona Sen.

In all, nine people were hurt.

The Turkish security officials were briefly detained at the site of the protest by US law enforcement for their role in the altercation.

Turkey's foreign minister also demanded that a USA envoy be removed for allegedly backing the Kurds, but the State Department said Brett McGurk has the "full support" of the Trump administration. "The State Department has raised its concerns about these events at the highest levels and a thorough investigation that will allow us to hold the responsible individuals accountable is of the utmost importance to us".

On May 8, the US chose to arm and equip the YPG inside Syria as it moves to take al-Raqqa city from Islamic State, to deprive it of a key headquarters and its capital.

"The violence and injuries were the result of this unpermitted, provocative demonstration", an embassy statement said.

"I've seen America is very sensitive on the Raqqa issue and I said "good luck", we can not join an operation with a terror organisation", he said.

In video captured by the Voice of America, a handful of Erdogan's supporters and his security detail rushed the demonstrators and started hitting them. Police appeared to struggle to keep the two groups separated.

"This isn't Turkey. This isn't a third-world country", McCain said on MSNBC.


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