Washington officials to respond to attack on anti-Erdogan crowd

Police in Washington, D.C., have issued felony arrest warrants for two Canadian supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the aftermath of a bloody assault outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington last month.

Turkey's president has slammed the USA decision to arrest a dozen of his security guards and two others accused of taking part in a violent attack on protesters during his official visit to Washington, D.C., last month. The Turkish undersecretary has told USA ambassador John Bass that police in Washington did not take security precautions against the protesters, who Turkey says were associated with outlawed Kurdish militants.

This after two Turkish men were arrested earlier Wednesday in connection to the incident, and charged with aggravated assault. 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 after his visit, so it was unclear if any would face any immediate U.S. legal repercussions. It showed peaceful, pro-Kurdish demonstrators being surrounded or pushed to the ground, and then kicked, punched and choked by members of Mr. Erdogan's security team.

The Turkish Embassy blamed the violence on demonstrators linked to the outlawed PKK, which Turkey and the United States consider a terrorist group. It also accused US authorities of roughing up Erdogan's security detail. Police are expected to release photos of the other 8 possible suspects and appeal to the public for information on their identities, the official said.

Video shot from another angle appears to show the Turkish president getting out of a limo, looking at the protesters and speaking to one of his bodyguards just prior to the attack. Officials at the Turkish Embassy in Washington declined to comment Thursday.

Others involved in the brawl left the U.S. prior to the completion of the investigation and before arrest warrants could be obtained for them, a law enforcement official told CNN.

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When the smoke cleared, 9 people were hurt - one seriously.

"Anyone traveling to the United States will be held to that same standard", she said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will fight USA arrest warrants for his security team over a brawl last month in Washington.

Nauert also said US Ambassador to Turkey, John Bass "attended some meetings at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs today in Turkey" amid reports he'd been summoned by Ankara.

Turkey's USA embassy alleged the demonstrators were associated with the PKK, which has waged a three-decade-long insurgency against Turkey and is considered a terrorist group by the United States.

But the following week the Turkish government summoned the USA ambassador to protest "aggressive behavior" by United States security personnel and "security lapses" in the incident.

The agents, part of Erdogan's security detail, are in Turkey at this time. They also violently attacked journalists covering the event, kicking an American cameraman in the chest to prevent him capturing the president's arrival.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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