40 Congressmen Advocating for Turkish Attack on Protesters be Expelled From the U S

The letter comes as the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a resolution condemning the attacks and calling for prosecution of the Turkish personnel involved.

A group of 40 representatives wrote a letter to the Justice Department and State Department on Thursday urging them to immediately expel any Turkish personnel involved in a violent attack on protesters in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

"This may be how they deal with dissenters in Turkey, but here in America that's against the law," Rep. Randy Hultgren (R., Ill.) said in a statement about the letter. "Our country is founded on the rights of free speech and freedom of peaceful assembly. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's security team's brazen, physical assault on American citizens and legal residents peacefully protesting his policies is outrageous and follows a disturbing pattern. Foreign leaders, diplomats, and staff are invited guests of our nation, and they should act as such. All of those involved—at all levels—must be held accountable."

The attack on protesters came on May 16 during Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to the United States. A few minutes after Erdogan arrived at the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C., a number of his bodyguards and supporters rushed a group of protesters and began beating them. D.C. Police eventually separated the attackers from the protesters but not before a number received injuries requiring hospitalization.

Erdogan's government responded to the incident by blaming the protesters for instigating the attack despite video evidence that contradicts their claims. "The demonstrators began aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the President," the Turkish embassy said in a statement on the incident. "The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured. The violence and injuries were the result of this unpermitted, provocative demonstration."

The Turkish government, which recently cracked down on free press in Turkey, has yet to respond to questions from the Washington Free Beacon.

The investigation into the attack is still ongoing and currently includes resources from the State Department, Secret Service, and D.C. Police. "The investigation remains active and is being conducted jointly by the Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Secret Service, and MPD," D.C. Police spokesperson Rachel Reid told the Free Beacon. "All three law enforcement agencies are actively sharing information and will remain in contact as the investigation proceeds."

D.C. Chief of Police Peter Newsham has said diplomatic immunity may hinder holding some of those involved in the attack accountable for their actions.

In their letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the congressmen expressed outrage over the attacks and said the continued problems caused by Turkish personnel on American soil were unacceptable. "This behavior is the second time in two years that Turkish security forces have threatened and assaulted U.S. citizens and legal residents on American soil," the letter said. "This is unacceptable in any situation, but even more so when Turkish leaders come and claim to be faithful allies to the United States. This clear disrespect for our laws and those who enforce them, especially during National Police Week, is intolerable."

"The individuals involved in Tuesday's attacks on Americans on U.S. soil must be identified and brought to justice," the letter said. "Turkish personnel based in the U.S. who were involved in the attacks should be declared persona non grata and expelled from the U.S. immediately. Turkish personnel not based in the United States who were involved in the attacks should be barred from entry into the U.S. in the future. Foreign nationals who cannot respect the rule of law of this great country should not be allowed to enjoy the rights and privileges it affords."



Original Post

Why Turkish Bodyguards Involved in Bloody D.C. Brawl Likely Won’t Face Repercussions


WASHINGTON — Bodyguards belonging to the Turkish president's security detail were involved in Tuesday's mass brawl outside the Turkish ambassador's residence here, senior U.S. officials confirmed to NBC News.

The well-dressed guards in suits and ties were captured on social media purportedly showing protesters being kicked and bloodied as uniformed authorities tried to contain the flaring violence. Nine people were hurt and two others were arrested, police said Wednesday, although none of those detained were guards — raising questions about their impunity under the law.


The State Department said in a statement Wednesday that the U.S. was "communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms."

"Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest," said spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

Meanwhile, the Turkish government blamed the protesters, whom they said — without providing evidence — were affiliated with "terrorist" groups.

"The violence and injuries were the result of this unpermitted, provocative demonstration," read a statement from the Turkish embassy. "We hope that, in the future, appropriate measures will be taken to ensure that similar provocative actions causing harm and violence do not occur."

Emergency personnel were called to the ambassador's residence on upscale Embassy Row — only blocks from the homes of former President Barack Obama, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — at about 4:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump had met with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at the White House just hours earlier.

Related: Trump and Erdogan Meet Amid Tensions Over Arming Kurds in Syria

A photojournalist for the local CBS affiliate tweeted that the gathering appeared to be made up of pro-Turkey demonstrators. But the event devolved into chaos when someone was reportedly seen carrying a flag of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria linked to a group that the United States wants to arm — over the objections of Turkey. The Turkish government considers them to be an offshoot of the terrorist organization the Kurdistan Workers Party.

D.C.'s Metropolitan police in a tweet condemned the fighting as standing "in contrast to the First Amendment rights and principles we work tirelessly to protect each and every day." Police officials said they plan to pursue all charges and find others involved.

Erdogan, meanwhile, has been accused of cracking down on journalists and his opposition following a coup attempt last summer that led the Turkish strongman to tighten his grip on power.

Image: Violent clashes broke out between protesters and supporters of Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan
Violent clashes broke out between protesters and supporters of Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington. VOA

Two of those hurt in Tuesday's fracas were seriously injured and taken to the hospital by ambulance, emergency personnel told NBC News.

In footage distributed by international broadcast outlet Voice of America, one man with a bullhorn could be seen on the ground getting kicked repeatedly, including by someone in a suit. Blood dripped down his face.

A separate tweet from a Washington-based Kurdish affairs analyst appeared to show a man in a suit grabbing a woman from behind with his arm around her neck.

The melee prompted Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Obama, to tweet Tuesday that "clearly Erdogan's guards feel complete impunity, drawing on tools of repression they use at home & knowing he has their back, no matter what."

Wonder why they feel like that samantha?

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