US, Turkey spar over Erdogan visit violence, Kurdish support

Share

The embassy said Erdogan was in the ambassador's residence after meeting President Donald Trump, and Turkish-Americans who were there to greet him responded to provocations from PKK-linked protesters.

The incident left 11 people injured, nine of whom were hospitalized. Video shows people pushing past police to confront a small group of protesters across the street in Sheridan Circle.

Yesterday, the US State Department said "violence is never an appropriate response to free speech". John McCain (R - AZ) is demanding the U.S. throw Turkey's Ambassador "the hell out of the United States of America" after security working for Turkey's president attacked American protesters.

"The violent response of your security detail to peaceful protestors is wholly unacceptable and, unfortunately, reflective of your government's treatment of the press, ethnic minority groups and political opponents", the senators wrote.

"All of the sudden they just ran towards us", said Lucy Usoyan, a Yazidi Kurd demonstrator.

This was all happening while President Trump was hosting a visit with Erdogan in the White House.

Erdogan said he told the United States that Turkey could not be part of the operation to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State because of the participation of the YPG. The department says the ambassador met Wednesday with Tom Shannon, the acting deputy secretary of state and highest-ranking career US diplomat.

Speaking in Istanbul two days after meeting President Donald Trump in Washington, Erdogan criticized the US decision to ally with "terror organizations" for the long-awaited operation to capture Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State group.

He warned that Brett McGurk, the USA diplomatic envoy to the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition, should not "poison" the administration by backing Kurdish groups in a continuation of Obama-era policies.

Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham called the attacks "brutal" and vowed to "pursue everything that's within our legal power to hold the folks that were responsible for their actions".

Several Republican lawmakers shot back, decrying the violence and demanding that Turkey apologize for the incident.

The Turkish government placed the blame at the feet of the protesters, claiming that they were affiliated with "terrorist" groups. "This is the United States of America".

"We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America", McCain, who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, told MSNBC.

Share