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Turkish Security Officials Indicted for Attacking US Protesters

Turkish Security Officials Indicted for Attacking US Protesters”

US authorities have indicted 19 people, including 15 Turkish security officials, for attacking protesters who held demonstrations outside the Turkish Ambassador's residence in Washington DC on May 16, 2017 against the visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Tuesday's indictment added three more Turkish officials, bringing the total number of indictments up to 19.

Two of the defendants were arrested in June following the incident, but the rest of the defendants are now at large.

All have been indicted on a charge of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, a felony that carries up to 15 years in prison, with a hate crime enhancement that could multiply a sentence by 1.5 times.

"Today's indictments are an important step toward securing justice for the vicious, ethnically motivated hate crimes committed against USA citizens, carried out during President Erdogan's visit to the nation's capital in May", said ANCA Communications Director Elizabeth Chouldjian. Of the 17 men at large, two are Canadian citizens and the rest are Turkish nationals.

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"We are concerned by the violent incidents involving protestors and Turkish security personnel Tuesday evening". Many were indicted on additional charges.

Sinan Narin and Eyup Yildirim, two of those indicted who were not a part of the Turkish security detail, were arrested on June 14.

Yildirim and Sinan Narin, another Turkish-American protester, are the only two attackers who have been arrested.

Several of those charged are members of Erdogan's security detail, who are now in Turkey and who may therefore not face legal repercussions in the U.S. They may be faced with arrest if they return to the U.S., or expelled from the country if Turkey refuses to waive diplomatic immunity. The Turkish Foreign Ministry then summoned America's ambassador to protest the treatment of the detained security guards.

ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian was videotaping live at the scene of the May 16 attack, which took place in front of the Turkish Ambassador's residence where President Erdogan was scheduled to have a closed-door meeting with think tank leaders. ".indictment. -.aug.29, .2017.pdf" target="_blank">indictment also recognized that the attackers "significantly outnumbered" the anti-Erdogan protesters and "blatantly ignored American law enforcement commands to cease the violence".



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