Turkish leader's security officers charged with assault in Washington

Turkish leader's security officers charged with assault in Washington

Turkish leader's security officers charged with assault in Washington

A US official says police in Washington will announce charges against 12 Turkish security agents related to violence that happened when Turkey's president visited last month.

In the statement, the Foreign Ministry said it summoned the American ambassador upon learning that the USA authorities have issued arrest warrants for some Turkish citizens and some of the security personnel of our president, due to the incident that took place in front of the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington, DC on May 16th. Sinan Narin, of Virginia was arrested in Virginia and charged with aggravated assault. The second man, Eyup Yildirim of New Jersey, faces two felony assault charges and a misdemeanour assault charge. On the day of the violence, police detained two members of Erdogan's security detail but released them shortly afterward.

It is unclear if an official request for extradition has been extended to Turkey - or Canada - but State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Thursday that the USA was looking at "additional steps" and warned that if any of the individuals sought USA visas in the future, "We know that they have warrants out for their arrests". He repeatedly urged those with an outstanding warrant to turn themselves over to US officials. He can be seen running past police officers and kicking at least two people who had fallen to the ground, including a man who had been kicked in the face.

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

Warrants have been issued for the arrests of Mahmut Sami Ellialti and Ahmet Cengizham Dereci, the Metropolitan Police Department said Thursday.

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The men were described as "Canadian citizens" on a wanted notice issued Thursday by the Washington Metro Police Department and by police Chief Peter Newsham.

Erdogan's visit sparked outrage after a video surfaced of Turkish president's security guards and supporters attacking a group of protesters outside the embassy.

During a speech Erdogan gave at the Brookings Institute on March 31, 2016, several D.C. journalists said they witnessed the Turkish president's bodyguards assault protesters.

The incident in question took place on May 16 after Erdogan made his first visit to the Trump White House. Yildirim is awaiting extradition from New Jersey, the statement said. Nine people were injured in the attack. Video shows Erdogan watching the brawl go down, if not ordering it. At the time, Erdogan was in the city meeting with President Donald Trump, who offered a warm welcome to Turkey's authoritarian leader with a lengthy history of human rights violations.

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