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Erdogan Bodyguards Accused of Attacking DC Protesters Released

19 May 2017

USA officials expressed outrage after what they described as a "brutal attack" Tuesday by Erdogan bodyguards on a small group of pro-Kurdish protesters who gathered on the United States capital's "Embassy Row" after Erdogan met with President Donald Trump at the White House.

Turkey blamed the violence outside its ambassador's residence on demonstrators linked to the PKK, but Washington's police chief called it a "brutal attack" on peaceful protesters. "We call upon the Turkish government to apologize immediately for the involvement of any officials", said the statement.

The incident left 11 people injured, nine of whom were hospitalized.

"Groups affiliated with the PKK, which the US and Turkey have designated as a terrorist organization, gathered yesterday without permit in Sheridan Circle in the immediate vicinity of the Ambassador's Residence, while the President of Turkey was visiting the Residence", the embassy said in a statement.

Turkey called Thursday for the removal of the U.S. diplomat coordinating the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, accusing him of backing Syrian Kurdish militias.

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The visit was also marred by a violent coda - an attack on protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington on Tuesday that US officials said was carried out by Erdogan's presidential guards. "I'm scared now too because I don't know how it will affect my life here in the United States", said Tankan, who lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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

"I ask that you immediately look into this matter and bring all appropriate charges before these individuals leave the United States". We do not do this here. "Somebody told them to go out there and beat up on these peaceful demonstrators", McCain said.

The protesters said they were demonstrating peacefully until Erdogan's guards and supporters suddenly moved toward them. Kheirabadi said he is a Kurd who passed through Turkey as a refugee and is now a US citizen.

Erdogan made the comments Thursday while addressing Turkish businessmen in Istanbul after returning to Turkey from a Tuesday visit to the White House.

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"President Trump's embrace of Erdogan is another in the line of similarly warm embrace of autocrats around the globe", Schiff wrote on Facebook.

Turkey considers the People's Protection Units or YPG in Syria a terror organization an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has waged a three-decade long insurgency against the Turkish state, seeking their own nation.

We clearly told them [the US] this: if there is any sort of attack from the YPG and PYD against Turkey, we will implement the rules of engagement without asking anyone.

Video appears to show Erdogan's bodyguards violently breaking up a protest this week while Erdogan was visiting Washington.

While President Donald Trump's invitation to Erdogan - and his lavish praise for Turkey during the visit - were widely seen as having enhanced Erdogan's stature at home, the US administration did not appear to budge on any of Erdogan's most pressing requests, including the demand not to arm the YPG.

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Erdogan Bodyguards Accused of Attacking DC Protesters Released