Arrest warrants out for Turkish agents following violence in Washington

Arrest warrants out for Turkish agents following violence in Washington

Arrest warrants out for Turkish agents following violence in Washington

Four have been arrested; the remainder are at large.

Turkey has protested the indictments against its security personnel, summoning the USA ambassador to Turkey to their foreign ministry.

Speaking at a dinner to break the Ramadan fast in Ankara, Erdogan asked, "What kind of a law is this?".

Authorities said they identified the suspects by comparing video of the melee to passport and visa images, using facial recognition techniques.

"We don't have any information to suggest that the president committed any crime", Peter Newsham, Washington, D.C.'s police chief, told VOA.

"We will fight politically and judicially" against the warrants, he added. The incident left 11 people injured, nine of whom were hospitalized.

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Yildirim appeared in court that day in Newark, where his public defender, David Holman, said Yildirim had received death threats because of the incident.

Earlier Wednesday, police said two men were arrested for their role in the fracas.

Some Turkish security officials were briefly detained at the time by US law enforcement for their role in the brawl, but they were released on the scene because "customary global law affords heads of state and members of their entourage with inviolability from arrest and detention", a State Department official told ABC News at the time.

Initially two people were arrested after the incident - one was charged with aggravated assault and antoher for assault on a police officer.

Others involved in the brawl left the U.S. prior to the completion of the investigation and before arrest warrants could be obtained for them, a law enforcement official told CNN.

He called on those who have not been arrested to travel to the USA and present themselves. He described the attack as "the type of offence that is extreme in nature".

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"We all saw the violence that was perpetrated against the protesters", Chief Newsham said.

The Turkish embassy claims the bodyguards were acting in self-defense, accusing the protesters of being affiliated with a Turkish opposition group.

The brawl, which exacerbated the already strained U.S. -Turkey relations, broke out as Erdogan arrived May 16 at the Turkish ambassador's residence after a White House meeting with President Donald Trump. Police in Washington on Thursday will announce charges against 12 of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's guards who beat and kicked anti-Erdogan protesters on May 16, reports the New York Times. Another wrenched a woman's neck and threw her to the ground. One elderly man is kicked multiple times in the face by different Turkish government agents, sustaining serious injuries. The spectacle of the bodyguards of a foreign autocrat attacking people exercising their free speech rights was unprecedented in recent memory.

Erdoğan also touched upon the brawl that happened during his last visit to Washington D.C. "Our goal as a government, as a police department, is making sure you can do it safely".

The Turkish Embassy in Washington did not respond to questions about whether Ankara would extradite those charged in the attack who are now in Turkey.

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