Turkey demands United States replace envoy in spat over Syrian Kurds

Anita Tucker
May 20, 2017

The State Department summoned Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kilic after bodyguards for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan violently attacked protesters Tuesday.

Twelve people, including a police officer were hurt during the melee.

According to the video, one of Erdogan's bodyguard speaks with him while protesters chant slogans saying, "baby killer Erdogan".

"The demonstrators began aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president", the embassy said.

A State Department spokeswoman said, referring to the incident, the United States is communicating concerns to Turkey's government "in strongest possible terms".

USA officials have criticized the Turkish government over violence outside its ambassador's residence in Washington. Instead, Erdogan's guards were released under a globally recognized custom under which nations don't arrest or detain visiting heads of state and members of their delegations, said the official, who wasn't authorized to comment publicly on the matter and requested anonymity. They were assaulting these people on USA soil.Turkish Ambassador should be kicked out of country.

"Reports indicate that some Turkish officials were involved in assaulting protesters, which violates the most basic rules of democracy and is an affront to the United States and the value we place on the right to free speech, as embodied in our Constitution".

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The security detail, he continued, violated American laws on United States ground, and that can not happen.

Following the White House meeting, Erdogan met with a group of United States businessmen at the Turkish Ambassador's residence across from Sheridan Circle, where another group of protesters were gathered. The department says the ambassador met Wednesday with Tom Shannon, the acting deputy secretary of state and highest-ranking career US diplomat.

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

Turkey's embassy blamed the violence on groups linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - a group fighting the government. Turkey sees them as a PKK extension and existential threat to Turkish sovereignty.

Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham called Tuesday's attack on Washington's Embassy Row "brutal".

"I'd throw the Turkish ambassador out", the Arizona Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe", the Hill reported.

Other reports by My Hot News

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