Turkish President condemns United States arrest warrants for aides

Police secure the street outside the Turkish embassy on May 16 after visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail clashed with pro Kurdish and pro Armenian protesters wounding at least eight people

USA prosecutors have charged a dozen Turkish security and police officers with assault after an attack on protesters in Washington during Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's visit to the United States capital last month, officials said on Thursday.

In addition to the 12, warrants were issued for the arrest of two Canadian citizens who took part in the brawl.

Washington police are leading the investigation, in cooperation with federal law enforcement and the U.S. State Department.

Washington police said that Sinan Narin of Virginia was accused of felony aggravated assault, while the second man, Eyup Yildirim of New Jersey, faces two felony assault charges. Kheirabaoi was charged with misdemeanor assault on a police officer, and Necmi was charged with felony aggravated assault. Charges have been filed, but without extradition, it's unclear what can actually be done about the felony and misdemeanor counts levied against the Turkish citizens in Erdogan's employ.

It was not immediately clear whether the State Department would ask the Turkish government to extradite them to the U.S.to answer the charges.

"There is no indication right now that the protesters were a terrorist group", Chief Newsham said.

Senators sent a bipartisan letter to Erdogan linking the attack to his authoritarian behaviour at home: "The violent response of your security detail to peaceful protesters is wholly unacceptable and, unfortunately, reflective of your government's treatment of the press, ethnic minority groups and political opponents".

Video shot from another angle appears to show the Turkish president getting out of a limo, looking at the protesters and speaking to one of his bodyguards just prior to the attack.

The U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly to the matter and demanded anonymity, said DC police had identified 34 of 42 people who were involved in the fight, and are seeking their arrests. The ensuing brawl injured 11 people, including a police officer and two secret service agents.

The melee outside the Turkish ambassador's residence during Erdogan's visit to the United States last month strained U.S.

Turkey has protested the indictments against its security personnel, summoning the US ambassador to Turkey to their foreign ministry.

Men in dark suits and others were recorded repeatedly kicking one woman as she lay curled up on a sidewalk. "We take our position in the USA, as the nation's capitol, very seriously".

The U.S. authorities' decision to issue arrest warrants for Turkish security guards is not independent or objective, the foreign ministry said in a statement published late Thursday. If any are still in the country, they could be expelled if Turkey refuses to waive diplomatic immunity.

"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.

"Recep Tayyip Erdogan was chosen by the Turkish people".

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