Arrest warrants out for Turkish agents, others in DC melee

Erdogan's security personnel attack peaceful protesters during demonstration near the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington DC

Police in the US capital issued arrest warrants Thursday for a dozen Turkish security agents accused of attacking protesters during a visit by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month, prompting an angry denunciation by Turkey's leader and creating a new spat between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

In addition to the 12, warrants were issued for the arrest of two Canadian citizens who took part in the brawl.

It was not immediately clear whether the State Department would ask the Turkish government to extradite them to the U.S.to answer the charges.

Sinan Narin of Virginia was arrested at his job near McLean, Virginia and charged with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor assault or threatened assault in a menacing manner. Eyup Yildirim was arrested in New Jersey on charges of assault with significant bodily injury and aggravated assault.

The entire security detail for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey left the country with him just hours after the incident. Charges have been filed, but without extradition, it's unclear what can actually be done about the felony and misdemeanor counts levied against the Turkish citizens in Erdogan's employ.

Some additional suspects still have not been identified, the police chief said. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Tom Cotton (R-AR) all demanded an apology from the Turkish government, while the U.S. House of Representatives passed a 397-0 resolution condemning the violence. Yildirim appears to be kicking a protester repeatedly in videos from that day.Both men have been arrested.

"If they attempt to enter the United States, they will be arrested", he said. "We support them, we make sure that they are safe, but we also make sure that they follow our law", Bowser said at a press conference. Eleven people were injured in what D.C. police described as a "brutal attack".

"If they [the security agents] were to come back to the United States, they would have [outstanding] warrants", said spokesperson Heather Nauert, who read a statement issued earlier by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Two people, at least one of them a protester, had previously been charged.

Toronto's Ahmet Dereci, a devoted supporter of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was captured on video joining Erdogan's bodyguards in a May attack that sent nine people to the hospital and became an worldwide incident.

Bass was also informed that the tolerance of the USA authorities towards the protesters who came within a few metres of the Turkish residence with the flags and symbols of the PKK, which both Ankara and Washington recognise as a terrorist organisation, run counter to any understanding of justice.

The incident comes amid increasingly strained tensions between the US and Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally that has grown more authoritarian in recent years under Erdoğan's leadership and drawn criticism from prominent USA politicians.

The Turkish Embassy claimed without evidence that Erdogan's bodyguards were acting in "self-defense" during the incident, and that the protesters were affiliated with the PKK (left-wing Kurdistan Workers' Party).

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