Erdogan: Turkey will not take part in Raqqa offensive


The statement said the demonstrators were "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president".

Other U.S. officials also criticized the Erdogan supporters as the aggressors against peaceful protesters, saying their actions outside the Turkish ambassador's residence violated American protections on free speech.

A firebrand United States senator has advocated for Turkey's Ambassador Serdar Kilic's removal of diplomatic credentials after what he called "thuggish" clashes in front of the Turkish embassy in the USA capital.

McCain, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Feinstein, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, write in the letter to Erdogan that members of the Turkish security detail "allegedly broke through police lines and violently attacked a small group of protesters...wounding at least nine people".

The Trump administration concedes that it released two members of Erdogan's detail after holding them briefly after the incident outside the Turkish ambassador's residence.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said McGurk, who was initially an Obama appointee, was "definitely supporting the Kurds", insisting that US-Turkey relations would be improved by his removal from the position. A man with a bullhorn is repeatedly kicked in the face.

Eyewitness accounts, along with the testimony of Washington DC's police chief, confirm that the protest was loud but peaceful until Erdogan's goons waded in and attacked.

Speaking to reporters at the Turkish embassy in Washington, Erdogan said he told Trump that if there were a YPG attack, Ankara would act unilaterally.

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VOA's Turkish service says the protesters at the scene were Kurdish supporters calling for pro-Kurdish lawmaker Selahattin Demirtas' release from prison. Police said they were checking reports that some of the attackers worked as bodyguards for the Turkish president.

"We said we would not be in such an operation with you where you ally with terror organizations and so we said good luck", Erdogan said.

"When we take this step, we don't speak or consult with anyone as we don't have any time to waste".

Erdogan said he warned Trump that Turkey would combat YPG if the group posed any security threat.

The hard line that the Trump administration has wanted to apply to peace-loving immigrants who are in this country illegally must apply to visitors who wantonly break this nation's laws.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the agency is "concerned by the violent incidents" and "violence is never an appropriate response to free speech".

"We have long supported Turkey as a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and a key United States ally in the region, and we expect conduct more appropriate to our decades-long partnership". "We respect those concerns, and continue regular consultations with our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally on this and other topics of mutual importance".