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Turkey wants U.S. envoy removed in growing spat over Syrian Kurds

20 Mai 2017

United States officials expressed outrage after what they described as a "brutal attack" Tuesday by Erdogan bodyguards on a small group of pro-Kurdish protesters who gathered on the United States capital's "Embassy Row" after Erdogan met with President Donald Trump at the White House.

Newsham added that nine people were hospitalized following the skirmish, and two men were arrested.

The official also confirmed that two members of Erdogan's security detail "were briefly detained during the altercations and subsequently released" and returned to Turkey with Erdogan. Erdogan's guards - and a group of supporters who joined the melee - should be charged with crimes.

A video posted online showed men in dark suits chasing anti-government protesters and punching and kicking them as police intervened.

Video appears to show Erdogan's bodyguards violently breaking up a protest this week while Erdogan was visiting Washington.

In a statement, the Turkish embassy blamed the fighting on demonstrators who "began aggressively provoking" Turkish-American citizens who had assembled to greet Erdogan.

Sen. John McCain also chimed in, calling for the Turkish ambassador to be removed from the U.S.

The minister said Trump's new US administration seems more understanding about Turkey's security concerns.

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"We weren't doing anything wrong", said pro-Erdogan demonstrator Mustafa Dikilitas.

Cavusoglu was speaking in an interview with broadcaster NTV after returning from a visit with President Tayyip Erdogan to Washington where they met President Donald Trump.

Turkey's president told the United States it will not join any military operations that include Kurdish fighters in Syria.

Meanwhile, the US State Department issued a statement saying McGurk has the full support of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the White House. They have raised concerns with the Turkish government "at the highest levels".

He told "Morning Joe" that he believed the Turkish ambassador to the US should be thrown "the hell out" of the country because of the violence. "To send a clear message that these acts of violence will not be tolerated, I ask that you immediately look into this matter and bring all appropriate criminal charges before these individuals leave the United States".

"We are going to pursue everything that's within our legal power to hold the folks that were responsible accountable for their actions", D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said at a press conference.

Turkey views the separatist Kurdistan People's Party (PKK) and its affiliates in Syria, the PYD, as terrorist organisations - but the USA sees Kurdish militias as the most effective ground forces against the extremist organisation.

Turkey wants U.S. envoy removed in growing spat over Syrian Kurds