Washington prosecutors have charged a dozen Turkish security and police officers with assault after an attack on protesters during Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan visit to the us capital last month, officials said on Thursday.
The United States Marshals arrested two Turks who attacked peaceful protesters last month in Washington, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).
"We will fight politically and judicially" against the warrants, Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara, accusing Washington DC police of allowing "terrorists" to demonstrate against him when he visited the White House last month. Another man, Sinan Narin, was arrested in Virginia on an aggravated assaultcharge, the Metropolitan Police Department said.
Erdogan's security detail returned with him to Turkey and the USA could seek their extradition or bar them from entering the country. Sources tell The New York Times that the guards will face several felony and misdemeanor counts. Police are expected to release photos of the other eight possible suspects and appeal to the public for information on their identities, the official said.
The fracas in the streets of the U.S. capital brought condemnation from members of the U.S. Congress and city officials.
Of the twelve men, seven will be charged with felonies and five with misdemeanors, a law enforcement official was quoted as telling the Chicago Tribune.
Others involved in the brawl left the USA prior to the completion of the investigation and before arrest warrants could be obtained for them, a law enforcement official told CNN. "We make sure they are safe, but we also make sure they follow our laws", she said. Officials at the Turkish Embassy in Washington declined to comment Thursday.
11 people were injured during the confrontation.
Toronto's Ahmet Dereci, a devoted supporter of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was captured on video joining Erdogan's bodyguards in a May attack that sent nine people to the hospital and became an global incident.
The violent altercation ensued after a small contingent of Kurdish protesters assembled outside the Turkish ambassador's residence to protest a state visit by Erdoğan on May 17.
Two protesters also have been charged.
Yildirim is in custody after an initial appearance before a federal magistrate in Newark, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey said by phone.
A police spokeswoman said the two are residents of Canada but it is not yet known whether they have Canadian citizenship. Turkey has still not apologized for the initial incident, instead charging that the "aggressive and unprofessional actions" of USA security personnel against Turkish bodyguards remains the real issue at hand.
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