Turkish Foreign Ministry delivers diplomatic note to US ambassador over violence in DC

John Bass, US ambassador in Ankara.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned US Ambassador to Ankara John Bass to deliver a diplomatic note over a melee outside the Turkish diplomatic mission that erupted when Turkish security personnel clashed with protesters during Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Washington last week.

It was reported in pro-Erdoğan media in Turkey that the diplomatic note was given over the brief detention of two members of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s security detail by the American agents affiliated with the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service outside the Turkish Embassy last week.

According to the report, American agents detained two Turkish security officers after a brief quarrel. The incident outside the Turkish Embassy is a separate event from the violence that broke out near the Turkish Ambassador’s residence.

The brief detention of Turkish security officers led another diplomatic crisis with the US. The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Ambassador Bass on Monday and delivered a written and verbal protest over the detentions.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday denounced a violent clash in Washington last week involving Turkish security personnel and protesters, as the administration faces political pressure to respond.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Tillerson said the State Department had called in the ambassador of Turkey, Serdar Kılıç, to discuss the incident, adding, “This is simply unacceptable.”

“There is an ongoing investigation,” he said. “We’ll wait and see what the outcome of that investigation is. But we have expressed our dismay at what occurred at the Turkish Embassy.”

US Senator John McCain has also called last week for the Turkish ambassador to be expelled. The incident occurred last Tuesday during protests surrounding a visit by President Erdoğan.

The incident occurred on Tuesday during protests surrounding the visit by Erdoğan. The demonstrators were protesting the policies of Erdoğan, who was visiting Washington for a White House meeting with Donald Trump earlier in the day, and were countered by agitated supporters of the Turkish head of state.

Police intervened in the fighting between the two groups, while a video recording posted on social media the same day also revealed that Erdoğan’s guards were involved, physically attacking the protesters. At least nine people were injured, with at least one of them in serious condition, according to US media outlets.

The US State Department last Wednesday said it was “concerned by the violent incidents involving protestors and Turkish security personnel” in DC.

“Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest,” the statement said.

“We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms.” (SCF with turkishminute.com) May 22, 2017

 

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