US, Turkey Spar Over Erdogan Visit Violence


The embassy alleged, without evidence, that the demonstrators were associated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has waged a three-decade-long insurgency against Turkey and is considered a terrorist group by the United States.

Erdogan is expected to travel to Washington meet with the president next week - their first face-to-face meeting since Trump took office - and one in which divisions over US support of the Syrian Kurdish militia are likely to be a point of contention.

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.

Rep. Ed Royce of California says bodyguards traveling with Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his official state visit to Washington "viciously beat multiple individuals, throwing them to the ground and kicking them in the head".

Trump's approval, before the visit, of plans to arm the YPG as it advances towards Islamic State's Raqqa stronghold had overshadowed talks between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, but Erdogan did not directly criticise the plan at the White House.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan watched on Tuesday as his supporters and Turkish security forces violently attacked protesters in Washington, D.C., according to a video posted to Facebook on Thursday afternoon by Voice of America's Turkish division. Footage of the assault showing protesters being kicked, choked and stomped drew widespread outrage as it was circulated on social media. Video shows people pushing past police to confront a small group of protesters across the street in Sheridan Circle.

Nine people were hurt and two others were arrested.

The US has summoned the Turkish ambassador after violence erupted between protesters and Turkish security personnel in Washington on Tuesday.

"The violence and injuries were the result of this unpermitted, provocative demonstration", read a statement from the Turkish embassy on Wednesday.

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On Thursday, in response to the clash outside the residence, Sen. "This is the United States of America", he wrote on Twitter. "This isn't Turkey. This isn't a third-world country, and this kind of thing can not go unresponded to diplomatically, and maybe in other ways".

"This is the United States of America, this isn't Turkey, this isn't a third-world country, and this kind of thing can not go un-responded to diplomatically and maybe in other ways", McCain continued, while a guest on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "They were assaulting these people on U.S. soil", McCaskill tweeted.

At their meeting Tuesday, Trump said the USA would re-establish its military and economic partnership with Turkey, committing to backing Turkey's defense against both Islamic State and the PKK.

On Wednesday, the State Department said "violence is never an appropriate response to free speech".

Turkey, the United States and European Union consider the PKK a terrorist organisation. ISIS is an acronym for the Islamic State.

The news about the US plan to arm Syrian Kurds comes as the The Trump administration mulls sending as many as 5,000 more troops to Afghanistan, a military official told NBC News, and as the White House makes moves it believe will help American forces "start winning" again in the region. The White House defended Trump's disclosure of classified information to senior Russian officials as "wholly appropriate", as Trump tried to beat back criticism from fellow Republicans and calm global allies increasingly wary about sharing their secrets with the new president.

In April, the USA had criticized Turkish airstrikes against Kurdish militants in Syria and Iraq. "We are already telling you in advance, our rules of engagement give us this authority, we will take such a step and we won't discuss it or consult with anyone".

Cavusoglu said Thursday that the Trump administration "did not show any reaction" to the Turkish warning.