Arrest warrants out for Turkish agents, others in DC melee

Police are set to announce charges against a dozen Turkish security agents who were involved in a violent altercation when Turkey's president visited Washington last month, a USA official said Wednesday.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert would not say whether the United States plans to seek the extradition of the security officials, who returned to Turkey prior to the completion of the investigation, avoiding arrest. Another man, Sinan Narin, was arrested in Virginia on an aggravated assault charge, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

Two additional men, Jalal Kheirabaoi of Virginia and Ayten Necmi of NY, were arrested and charged immediately following the attack. The second man, Eyup Yildirim of New Jersey, faces two felony assault charges and a misdemeanour assault charge.

Erdogan's security detail returned with him to Turkey and the United States could seek their extradition or bar them from entering the country.

The Turkish government has blamed the violence on the protesters, whom they allege were linked with the PKK, considered a terrorist group by the U.S.

The department released no further details about the suspects but said additional information would be available Wednesday.

Images of agents of a foreign government running violently amok in a leafy neighbourhood of the US capital caused outrage and demands for a strong reaction. But the men would face arrest if they ever tried to return to the US. We support them. We make sure that they are safe, but we also make sure that they follow our laws.

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However, the Turkish Embassy said protesters had provoked Turkish-Americans who were there to greet the president, and they in turn responded in self-defence. "The police planned to announce the charges at a news conference on Thursday morning, according to the two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the charges before they were made public". The men, all Turkish citizens, include nine Erdogan security guards and three Turkish police.

Two protesters also have been charged.

On June 6th, with a vote of 397 to 0, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously condemned Turkey in response to the attacks, taking a powerful stand against Ankara's attempts to export its violence and intolerance to America's shores.

Erdogan lashed back, accusing U.S. police of having allowed "terrorists" to protest "50 meters from me" during his USA visit.

A video of the incident showed Erdogan talking to his subordinates shortly before the fighting broke out.

The Turkish bodyguards assaulted the demonstrators shortly after President Erdoğan arrived at his ambassador's residence in the USA capital. Eleven people were injured and nine were hospitalized, as Erdogan watched from his Mercedes-Benz.

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