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Washington Riot After Erdogan-Trump VIsit Draws Congressional Outrage

19 May 2017, 08:30 | Taylor George

Washington Riot After Erdogan-Trump VIsit Draws Congressional Outrage

The Latest: Turkish courts urged to apply Europe's standards

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.

McCain earlier in the day slammed Turkey's government over the violent clash, which transpired Tuesday outside the ambassador's residence on Washington's Embassy Row.

But Ankara is now upbeat about the future of relations with Washington under President Donald Trump, with Cavusoglu praising the new administration as "more sincere" after Erdogan's talks with the USA leader this week.

Turkey called Thursday for the removal of the USA diplomat coordinating the worldwide coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, accusing him of backing Syrian Kurdish militias.

Turkey's president told the United States it will not join any military operations that include Kurdish fighters in Syria.

The meeting of the Turkish envoy and the USA official took place at the State Department on Wednesday, and comes amid an outcry among U.S. lawmakers.

Republican Senators Marco Rubio (Florida) and Ted Cruz (Texas) called on the Turkish government to immediately apologize for the violence.

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However, the two security detail members that were held after the brawl were released and are already back in Turkey. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, "Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech". The embassy alleged, without evidence, that the demonstrators were associated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-long insurgency against Turkey and is considered a terrorist group by the United States. "This kind of thing can not go un-responded to diplomatically", Senator John McCain told MSNBC's Morning Joe programme on Thursday.

Turkish officials said demonstrators were "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the President".

"Turkey is a key North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally that faces legitimate domestic security concerns emanating from ISIS, PKK, and other designated terrorist organizations", Nauert said.

Video appears to show Erdogan's bodyguards violently breaking up a protest this week while Erdogan was visiting Washington.

Cavusoglu said Thursday that the Trump administration "did not show any reaction" to the Turkish warning.

The video is filmed from behind a black Mercedes Benz occupied by Erdogan, who had just left a White House meeting with President Trump. But Erdogan's government views the Syrian Kurdish group known as the YPG as an extension of a Kurdish terrorist organization that operates in Turkey.

Nine people were injured, one severely, and two were arrested, apparently one from the pro-Kurd side and one from the pro-Erdogan side. He warned that senior US diplomat Brett McGurk, in the anti-IS coalition, should not "poison" the administration by backing Kurdish groups.



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