Adding to the tension, on Thursday U.S. Senator John McCain called for the expulsion of Turkey's U.S. ambassador after violence erupted between protesters and Turkish security personnel during Erdogan's visit. Another person wrenches a woman's neck and throws her to the ground. Eleven people were injured, including one police officer.
Initial reports described the fight, which left several people visibly bloodied, as a "clash" between supporters of Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Erdogan's security detail, and people protesting Erdogan's meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump earlier in the day. Video shows people pushing past police to confront a small group of protesters across the street in Sheridan Circle.
Turkey has demanded today the removal of USA representative at the Global Coalition against the Islamic State (IS), Brett McGurk, for his support to the Kurdish militias established in northern Syria.
The protesters said they were demonstrating peacefully until Erdogan's guards and supporters suddenly moved toward them.
The Turkish Embassy claimed on Wednesday that Erdogan's bodyguards were acting in "self-defense" during the incident and the protesters were affiliated with the terrorist group PKK.
Another video shared on social media Thursday showed Erdogan watching the melee unfold from the backseat of his vehicle.
"We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms", said Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman.More news: Trump Rails Against 'Witch Hunt' Amid Special Counsel Appointment
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U.S. expresses concern in "strongest possible terms" after violence erupted outside the Turkish embassy.
Politicians weighed in as well. The hashtag refers to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist group by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the European Union, and the United States. "We do not do this here", Sen.
"We said, 'We can not be in an operation where there are terror organizations".
The Secret Service said it plans to work with the police and the State Department "to aggressively pursue accountability for those involved in yesterday's protests". "The State Department has raised its concerns about these events at the highest levels, and a thorough investigation that will allow us to hold the responsible individuals accountable is of the upmost importance to us".
Police said two people were arrested.
Jalal Kheirabadi, 42, of Fairfax, Virginia, charged with assaulting a police officer, refused treatment for cuts to his face. Protesters who support the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) turned up and started provoking Erdogan's security detail as well as Turkish-American citizens who had come to see the Turkish leader.