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Turkey Summons US Ambassador Over Arrest Warrants for Turkish Security Personnel

Erdogan, in his televised remarks, vowed to "fight politically and judicially" against the warrants, accusing USA police of allowing "terrorists" to demonstrate against during his visit.

The ANCA's Hamparian was videotaping live at the scene of the May 16th attack, which took place in front of the Turkish Ambassador's residence where President Erdogan was scheduled to have a closed-door meeting with representatives of The Atlantic Council, a leading think tank in Washington, DC which receives funding from Turkey. Nine people were eventually hospitalised, some with serious injuries.

After the incident, the State Department said in a statement that it was concerned by the violence, saying, "Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest".

"The charges filed against 12 Turkish security officials send a clear message that the U.S. does not tolerate individuals who use intimidation and violence to stifle freedom of speech and legitimate political expression", said Nauert.

Chief Newsham added that those charged who are part of Mr. Erdogan's security team are not protected by diplomatic immunity and will immediately be arrested if they attempt to enter the United States.

"They should bring themselves here to the United States to answer these charges", Newsham said.

In a statement Monday, Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the ambassador was summoned and "a written and verbal protest was delivered due to the aggressive and unprofessional actions taken, contrary to diplomatic rules and practices, by USA security personnel toward the close protection team of H.E Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu". Erdogan's security forcibly removed a number of protesters from a venue in Ecuador in February, 2016.

It has been emphasized that the decision, which clearly was not taken as a result of an impartial and independent investigation, is unacceptable.

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A video posted online has shown men in dark suits chasing anti-government protesters and punching and kicking them as police intervened. In another, they kick a different protester lying on the ground with a bullhorn.

Washington police, more accustomed to protecting visiting dignitaries from protesters than protecting protesters from official delegations, appeared to be caught off guard by the attack and struggled to contain the Turks.

Bowser said the nation's capital is a frequent protest venue but police insist those be peaceful.

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. While the United States ranks 43rd in the World Press Freedom rankings, Turkey is ranked 155th. Arrest warrants are expected to be issued for a dozen Turkish guards, the New York Times reported on Wednesday. The incident sparked condemnation from the State Department and could threaten a $1.2 million small-arms sale to Turkish security forces, a deal the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee now says should be nixed. The Justice Department did not respond to requests for comment.

Police displayed photos at the news conference of those sought, urging the public to help find some still unidentified.

The Turkish envoy said the protesters were "affiliated with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party)" and had assembled without permission.

"We don't have any information right now to suggest that we would have probable cause to make an arrest of the president", Chief Newsham said.

Newsham said police worked with the U.S. State Department and the Secret Service to identify the suspects. "Our role ... is to make sure you can do so safely".



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