The Turkish embassy released a statement on May 17 that contradicted US officials and video evidence, blaming instead the demonstrators, who, it said, had been "aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president".
Alptekin, the chair of the semi-official Turkish-American Business Council helped organize Turkish President Recep Erdogan's 2015 visit to Washington. A video showed two men bleeding from the head, and men in dark suits punching and kicking protesters, some lying on the ground. It said they chanted anti-Erdogan slogans, and that Erdogan's team moved in to disperse them because "police did not heed to Turkish demands to intervene".
Meanwhile, U.S. Senator John McCain, one of the leading foreign policy voices in Congress, on May 18 urged the expulsion of Turkey's U.S. ambassador after violence erupted between protesters and Turkish security personnel during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's recent visit. "This isn't Turkey; this isn't a third world country". The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured.
"Reports indicate that some Turkish officials were involved in assaulting protesters, which violates the most basic rules of democracy and is an affront to the United States and the value we place on the right to free speech, as embodied in our Constitution".
The violent capstone to Erdogan's visit spoke to the sky-high tensions between the USA and Turkey, NATO allies that have increasingly sparred over US strategy toward defeating IS militants in Syria.
To Turkey's dismay, President Donald Trump has made a decision to arm and partner Syrian Kurdish militants in the impending fight to retake the key city of Raqqa.More news: Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) & Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) Stocks in the Spotlight
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The United States have been providing support to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which include YPG, with fighting against IS terrorists in Syria.
The D.C. Police Department issued a statement saying they were working with the State Department and Secret Service to "identify and hold all subjects accountable for their involvement in the altercation".
In its protest against Trump's decision, Turkey's foreign minister demanded Thursday that Trump dismiss the US envoy in charge of the anti-IS coalition, Brett McGurk.
"They welcomed it with understanding", he said.
We want to hear from you. "We will take such a step and we won't discuss it or consult with anyone".
Republicans are calling on the Trump administration to investigate whether criminal charges are warranted against any of the bodyguards. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the agency is "concerned by the violent incidents" and "violence is never an appropriate response to free speech".