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Turkey says US indictment against security personnel 'biased'


Turkey has complained to the United States over the indictment of Turkish security guards involved in a brawl during President Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Washington this year.

The protesters were outside the Turkish ambassador's Washington D.C. home during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit with President Trump when the bodyguards began savagely punching and kicking them in broad daylight.

Tuesday's indictment brings to 19 the total number of people charged with attacking peaceful protesters and police officers on May 16, shortly after Erdogan met with President Donald Trump at the White House.

Sixteen of the defendants were already charged on June 13 by the Metropolitan Police Department, two of whom have been arrested and will be facing initial court hearings on September 7.

Newsham called on the suspects to turn themselves in, but Erdogan's team had already returned to Turkey and it remains unclear if they will return to the U.S.to answer the charges. Video footage later emerged showing that the Turkish president witnessed the violence, which injured at least nine people.

"All 19 defendants were indicted on a charge of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, with a bias crime enhancement", it said.


After the incident, police briefly detained two Turkish security officials. Many were indicted on additional charges. The rest remain at large.

President Erdogan himself criticised the initial indictment decisions in June, accusing USA police of "terrorists" to protest "50 metres from me".

Both Democrat and Republican politicians condemned the violence on American soil at the time saying it violated the right to freedom of assembly.

"The attack, by "pro-Erdogan civilian supporters, Turkish security personnel, and staff members from the Turkish diplomatic delegation" was "based on the actual or perceived ethnicity and political affiliation" of the victims," the document reads.

Sixteen of those indicted were Turkish "security guards" who attacked demonstrators, injuring several.

Turkey's foreign ministry fired back at the allegations, however, summoning the US envoy to Turkey to Ankara to lodge a formal complaint over the incident and casting blame on the USA for its occurrence. It adds that the attackers "blatantly ignored American law enforcement commands to cease the violence".

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