Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
World News | By Cecilia Wilkerson

DC police seek arrest of Turks for melee, angering Erdogan

DC police seek arrest of Turks for melee, angering Erdogan

Law enforcement officials arrested two men linked to last month's skirmish outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force said.

In a charging document presented in court Thursday against Sinan Narin, one of four Turkish-Americans already arrested in the case, Washington police detective Victor DePeralta called the incident a "vicious attack". Police said they have been working closely over the past several weeks with the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Secret Service pouring over video clips and trying to decide how to proceed. Eyup Yildirim, of New Jersey is charged with assault with significant bodily injury, aggravated assault, and misdemeanor assault or threatened assault in a menacing manner. Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert declined to say what actions might be taken, but the USA could seek the extradition of the Turkish suspects or bar them from entering the United States.

Erdogan watched the beatdown from his auto and a few hours later left the country with his security detail - which presents a bit of a problem with actually meting out punishment. With two men arrested on Wednesday and two arrested immediately following the incident, the total number facing charges is now 18.

Police said they would release images of the suspects who they had not been able to identify.

Video shot from another angle appears to show the Turkish president getting out of a limo, looking at the protesters and speaking to one of his bodyguards just prior to the attack. "We make sure they are safe, but we also make sure they follow our laws".

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Nine people were injured in the skirmish. "We are hopeful that those responsible will do their part and present themselves to answer to these charges", Newsham said.

Washington officials are expected on Thursday to provide an update on a brawl last month outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington amid speculation that members of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's security personnel will face charges.

After learning about arrest warrants, the Turkish foreign ministry summoned the USA ambassador to Turkey, John Bass, in protest. Turkey is also a key USA ally in its campaign against Islamic State militants, but the two nations have butted heads over their respective relationships with Kurdish fighters, some of whom the US has armed even though Turkey claims the groups are terrorist organizations.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sitting in a vehicle nearby when the incident occurred.

The action is likely to exacerbate what has become a major irritant in U.S.

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A video posted online showed men in dark suits chasing protesters and punching and kicking them as police struggled to intervene.

If Turkey refuses to extradite them, the men could be arrested if they return to the United States in some capacity where they wouldn't have diplomatic immunity.

United States officials on Wednesday arrested two protesters who were allegedly involved in the clash outside the Turkish ambassador's residence.

The Turkish embassy claims the bodyguards were acting in self-defense, accusing the protesters of being affiliated with a Turkish opposition group. -Turkish relations. Eleven people were hurt in what Washington's police chief described as a "brutal attack" on peaceful protesters.

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