US Complains To Turkey Over Embassy Violence

Sen. John McCain said Thursday that Turkey's ambassador to the United States should be removed after a clash between Turkish security and protesters in Washington D.C. this week.

On Tuesday, bodyguards working for Turkey's authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, clashed with Kurdish and Armenian protesters outside of the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C.

The Middle Eastern strongman's visit to President Trump this week led to demonstrations against his regime, which recently cemented itself through a referendum giving Erdogan more power.

Other U.S. officials also criticized the Erdogan supporters as the aggressors against peaceful protesters, saying their actions outside the Turkish ambassador's residence violated American protections on free speech.

The biggest dispute between Turkey and the US recently has been the Trump administration's plans to arm Kurdish Syrian militants fighting the Islamic State group.

"We said we would not be in such an operation with you where you ally with terror organizations and so we said good luck", President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after meeting President Donald Trump in Washington, according to AP.

Two men were arrested at the scene, and police say they intend to pursue charges against others involved as well.

Some of the guards are believed to have diplomatic immunity or left the US with Erdogan, The Wall Street Journal reports, though the State Department - which expressed its "concern" to Turkey "in the strongest possible terms" - is exploring ways to block Erdogan's security detail from returning to the USA; some of the same guards harassed a Turkish reporter in Washington a year ago, too. So for him, and presuming for a security detail, opposition, and especially vocal opposition - they don't take it very lightly.

The State Department says it has expressed its concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms.

There may be issues with diplomatic immunity, Police Chief Peter Newsham said at a news conference Wednesday. Turkey regards the Syrian force as an arm of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which Ankara and Washington have both listed as a terrorist group.

A group of Republican lawmakers went a step further, calling the episode an "affront to the United States" and calling for Turkey to apologize. "People have the right in our country to peacefully demonstrate - and they were peacefully demonstrating", McCain said. "This isn't Turkey. This isn't a third-world country, and this kind of thing can not go unresponded to diplomatically, and maybe in other ways".

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