Feds indict Turkish guards for assaulting protesters

In the incident, which was caught on video, demonstrators were met with violence from Turkish security guards and counter-protesters.
By Clint Huston | Oct 10, 2017
Eighteen people now have been criminally charged for allegedly assaulting protesters near the Turkish ambassador's Washington DC residence on May 16 during a state visit by that country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In the incident, which was caught on video, demonstrators were met with violence from Turkish security guards and counter-protesters. Eleven people were injured, including nine who were hospitalized. At the time, Ayten Neck, 49, and Jalal Kheirabaoi, 42, were arrested and charged with simple assault, according to ABC News. Their cases are pending and they have pleaded not guilty.

The latest arrests include two American citizens, Sinan Narin, 45, of Virginia, and Eyup Yildirim, 50, of New Jersey and two Canadians. The remaining are Turkish nationals who were members of Erdogan's entourage.

Condemnation of the assault comes from both political parties, with Sen. John McKain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) both demanding that Turkey's ambassador be expelled.

"The State Department should double down on efforts to help bring these individuals to justice," said Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a statement. "These types of unprovoked attacks on innocent Americans and their Constitutional rights can never happen again."

Turkey is protesting the criminal charges.

"This decision taken by U.S. authorities is wrong, biased and lacks legal basis," said the Turkish foreign ministry, in a statement. "This incident would to have occurred if the U.S. authorities had taken the usual measures they take in similar high-level visits, and therefore that Turkish citizens cannot be held responsible for the incident that took place."

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