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Erdogan Supporters in Violent Clash with Protesters in Washington

19 May 2017

Earlier on Tuesday, Erdogan met with President Donald Trump at the White House, where the two leaders vowed to fix their countries' relationship and re-establish an economic and military partnership. But Sen. John McCain of Arizona didn't hold back.

"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.

Footages of a brawl between a small group of protesters believed to be pro-Kurdish and some men dressed in black suits, identified as Erdogan's security agents, went viral on social media.

"We strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday (Tuesday, May 16 - Ed.) outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington", the senators said in a statement Wednesday.

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Violence erupted when Turkish security officials and counter-protesters clashed with demonstrators near the ambassador's residence, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stayed after meetings with President Trump at the White House.

The statement said a Turkish-American was "seriously injured" in self-defense. After police had managed to separate the two sides, Erdogan's bodyguards came to the scene.

The meeting took place with a White House still responding to what a senior U.S. official said was Trump's disclosure of classified information about an Islamic State terror threat involving laptop computers on aircraft.

The US agrees with Turkey in designating the PKK as a terrorist organization, but rejects the idea that Kurdish forces in Syria or Iraq should be treated in the same fashion.

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It was unclear if they were members of Mr Erdogan's security or protesters. Necmi was charged with aggravated assault, while Kheirabaoi was charged with assaulting a police officer.

On May 8, the US chose to arm and equip the YPG inside Syria as it moves to take al-Raqqa city from Islamic State, to deprive it of a key headquarters and its capital.

The Turkish Embassy said Wednesday night, though, that the demonstration was "unpermitted and provocative".

Lawmakers have decried what they saw as Erdogan's attitude toward dissent making its way from the Mediterranean to America. "To send a clear message that these acts of violence will not be tolerated, I ask that you immediately look into this matter and bring all appropriate criminal charges before these individuals leave the United States".

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Turkey and the United States have branded the PKK a terrorist group, but the United States thinks differently about the YPG and fights with them against ISIS.