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Turkey's justice minister slams protest by opposition leader

18 June 2017
Turkey's justice minister slams protest by opposition leader

On the day of the violence, police detained two members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail but released them shortly afterward.

On Thursday, DC Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham held a press conference where he read the names of 14 foreign nationals who face charges stemming from the incident if they return to the U.S.

He said PKK fighters and members of what Turkey calls the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) were united in protest against him at a short distance of 40-50 metres from where he was with his bodyguards.

"It has been conveyed to the ambassador that this decision taken by USA authorities is wrong, biased and lacks legal basis", the ministry said in a statement, blaming local authorities for failing to take proper security measures with regards to the "so-called protesters". In all, nine people were hurt. "Wandering around with "justice" placards does not bring justice".

The United States also revoked the visas of multiple guards, some of whom have not been charged. "When an outcome is reached, the department will determine if any additional steps will need to be taken".

The New York Times reported last month that Dereci travelled to Washington with his cousin.

But Washington held that Erdogan's security detail had no justification to attack the small group of Kurdish and Armenian protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence on 16 May, just after Erdogan met with President Donald Trump at the White House. His role in the clash, if any, is unclear. The State Department will continue to work with law enforcement and the relevant legal authorities in the case. Turkey fears these weapons will eventually end up in the hands of the P.K.K.in Turkey.

In his remarks, Erdogan claimed the protesters were all affiliated with the violent separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which is the Turkish government's name for the followers of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, now a resident of Pennsylvania.

USA officials had strongly criticized the Turkish government after Erdogan's security forces for the violence, and the State Department summoned Turkey's ambassador to the U.S.to complain.

Speaking at a dinner to break the Ramadan fast in Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked, "what kind of a law is this?"

"Can you imagine what would the attitude be if something similar happens in Turkey?" he said. Erdogan said the United States had no right to arrest his guards, who he said were protecting him from "terrorists".

The CHP leader, dressed in a blue shirt, baseball hat and sport shoes, said the march was a challenge to injustice and was needed "because there is no independent judiciary". "No matter what they say". The U.S. State Department has not ruled out demanding their extradition.

After Thursday's reaction, that does not appear likely. "Rarely have I seen, in my nearly 28 years of policing, the type of thing that I saw on Sheridan Circle on that particular day", said Chief Newsham. In 2011, Mr. Erdogan's guards took part in a fight at the United Nations that sent at least one security officer to the hospital.

The skirmish in May does not appear to have been an isolated incident.