It’s been a month or so since Turkish government officials attacked peaceful protestors near their embassy in Washington, D.C. The Metropolitan police in D.C. have now issued arrest warrants for approximately twelve of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail. President Trump has signed off on these arrests and he isn’t playing around. Rumors indicate that Erdogan gave his guards permission to rough up those who were protesting.
Metro police chief Peter Newsham gave the media the twelve names of those Turkish citizens involved in the attack. Four private individuals were allegedly part of the attack as well. The incident occurred back in mid-May and nine protestors were injured. Of those involved nine are Turkish security guards, three are Turkish national police, two are Canadian citizens, and two are Turkish Americans.
“If they attempt to enter the United States, they will be arrested.”
He also said,
“If you are a law-abiding person and you feel like you did not do anything wrong, then please present yourself here to answer to these charges. We’d like to hear what you have to say. That remains to be seen.”
Audios that were found to have videotaped the events that occurred that day show one of the security guards attacking private citizens and saying to one of his comrades,
“Servet, he says attack” or “Servet, he says dive in.”
In a press conference, the police chief noted there was not enough evidence to charge Erdogan and that nobody from the Turkish embassy located there in Washington, D.C. were implicated or found to be responsible for the events that occurred that day. He said,
“We don’t have any information right now to suggest that we have probable cause to make an arrest of the President.”
Presser on arrests made in protest brawl outside Turkish Embassy in May – these photos just revealed of other wanted Turkish security pic.twitter.com/p9zpke374Q
— Anjali Hemphill (@AnjaliHemphill) June 15, 2017
Despite the fact that Erdogan will not be charged or arrested and that some of his security detail is likely protected under diplomatic immunity the chief noted that should any of them return to the United States they would be immediately arrested. Dustin Sternbeck, director of the MPD’s communications office said the following,
“After an extensive investigation with the United States Department of State, the United States Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police Department, a total of 18 individuals have been charged or are facing charges stemming from a physical altercation that occurred during a First Amendment assembly on May 16, 2017. Investigators have spent the last several weeks using video technology to identify additional individuals who took part in the incident.”
The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution condemning the attacks and castigating the Turkish government. While MPD, the Secret Service, and the State Department all have released statements on the issue. Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham were some of the first public servants to attack the Turkish government for the incident publically.
ABC News reported the following about the defendants and their personal information,
“Two of the defendants are American citizens and were arrested yesterday. Sinan Narin, 45, of Virginia plead not guilty in a D.C. court Thursday afternoon, and Eyup Yildirim, 50, of New Jersey, is in custody in his home state and awaiting extradition to D.C. The cases for Ayten Necmi, 49, of New York and Jalal Kheirabaoi, 42, of Virginia remain pending, but both men have plead not guilty.”
In a statement by the Turkish foreign ministry, they defended themselves by saying,
“This decision taken by U.S. authorities is wrong, biased and lacks legal basis. This incident would not have occurred if the U.S. authorities had taken the usual measures they take in similar high-level visits, and therefore that Turkish citizens cannot be held responsible for the incident that took place.”
One member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee was extraordinarily happy and that was California member Rep. Ed Royce who said,
“I am encouraged by the U.S. Attorney’s action. The State Department should double down on efforts to help bring these individuals to justice. These types of unprovoked attacks on innocent Americans and their Constitutional rights can never happen again.”
— Ceren Borazan (@CerenBorazan) May 18, 2017
If the Obama administration were in power they never would have taken this criminal action. Instead, they would have led from behind as they like to say. But President Trump is making a clear statement that this type of barbaric and uncouth behavior is completely and utterly unacceptable in a Democratic society.
We want a good relationship with Turkey for their strategic alliance in the Middle East but this type of behavior can never be condoned for the purposes of maintaining good relations. Good allies call each other out when they are doing something wrong but still stand by one another. President Trump is simply sending a warning that this type of action will not be tolerated and it must stop but that we can’t still continue on towards working for peace.