Saturday, 23 September, 2017

Video shows Erdogan watched bodyguards' violent attack on protesters in DC

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Freda Brock | 20 May, 2017, 00:06

During the visit, Trump lauded Erdogan as an important ally in the "fight against terrorism" and did not mention Erdogan's domestic crackdown after last year's failed coup attempt. McGurk, known as the mastermind of the USA plan to work with the YPG in defeating the jihadists in Syria, was appointed as the anti-ISIL coordinator by the Obama administration before the Trump administration asked him to remain in his position. -Turkish tensions that are being compounded by a growing spat over US war strategy against the Islamic State group in Syria.

Both Democrat and Republican politicians condemned the violence on American soil, saying it violated the right to freedom of assembly.

US Senator John McCain, one of the leading foreign policy voices in Congress, yesterday urged the expulsion of Turkey's US ambassador after violence erupted between pro-Kurdish militant protesters and Turkish security personnel during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent visit. USA lawmakers demanded stronger action. "Turkish Ambassador should be kicked out of country". The aide said two members of Erdogan's security detail were detained on the scene Tuesday by diplomatic security agents. That guard then walks out of the camera's frame, and then the men in suits attack the protesters.

USA government officials have been roundly critical of the guard's actions.

However, the two security detail members that were held after the brawl were released and are already back in Turkey.

The guards' release left the US struggling to point to anything that amounts to accountability.

He also warned that Turkey would respond to any threat posed to it.

"There must be consequences", Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said Thursday.

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.

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"My Kurdish friends and allies were protesting peacefully against Erdogan being in Washington when were suddenly attacked by a group of Erdogan's official bodyguards and secret police", Borazan wrote on Facebook. Ayten Necmi, 49, was charged with aggravated assault and Jalal Kheirabaoi, 42, was charged with assaulting a police officer. The guards surrounded a middle-aged man who had been kicked to the ground and was kicked repeatedly in the face.

McCain said "this kind of thing can not go unresponded to diplomatically". He later exits the vehicle and peers toward the chaos. An embassy statement said the group had "aggressively provoked Turkish-American citizens" who had gathered to greet Erdogan.

Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is deemed a terrorist organisation by the United States, Turkey and the European Union.

The violent capstone to Erdogan's visit spoke to the sky-high tensions between the US and Turkey, NATO allies that have increasingly sparred over USA strategy toward defeating IS militants in Syria.

Tensions are running high between the United States and Turkey after the Trump administration announced plans to arm Kurdish Syrians militants with small arms, machine guns, armored vehicles and other military hardware. But in the USA, it is a protected right. "We also said this: If terror organizations pose a threat for us we will use our self-defense right and do what is necessary".

"We can not lift the rule of emergency unless everything reaches peace and welfare", Erdogan told a meeting of business leaders in Istanbul. "We ... won't consult anybody on this".

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said McGurk has done "tremendous work" in coordinating and leading the worldwide coalition against IS, and has the support of the White House and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Turkey views the separatist Kurdistan People's Party (PKK) and its affiliates in Syria, the PYD, as terrorist organisations - but the USA sees Kurdish militias as the most effective ground forces against the extremist organisation.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said "we won't beg" Germany to keep its forces at the huge Incirlik air base, from where many coalition operations are launched.

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