Turkish Guards Stomped US Protesters. Now, Charges

A dozen members of Erdogan's team to be charged; 2 Turkish-Americans arrested
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2017 7:23 AM CDT
In this frame grab from video provided by Voice of America, members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail are shown violently reacting to protesters during Erdogan's trip to Washington.   (Voice of America via AP)

(Newser) – It was a brutal display of violence that played out in broad daylight in Washington, DC, and now US authorities are charging members of the Turkish president's security detail. Police in Washington on Thursday will announce charges against 12 of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's guards who beat and kicked anti-Erdogan protesters on May 16, reports the New York Times. Seven of the men will face felonies, reports the AP. The catch? All have since returned to Turkey, and the chances of their extradition are slim to none. But the men would face arrest if they ever tried to return to the US. Police already have arrested two Turkish-Americans: Sinan Narin of Virginia and Eyup Yildirim of New Jersey, both accused of taking part in the violence against protesters that left nine people hospitalized.

The Times, which did a detailed analysis of video of the melee, reports that Yildirim can be seen kicking a female protester multiple times. He is being held without bail in Newark, and a public defender said Wednesday in court that he was receiving death threats over the incident. Turkey's official line on the violence is that it was the protesters who provoked Erdogan supporters at the scene and set off the fracas, but video of the day doesn't support that. All this is playing amid strained ties between the US and NATO ally Turkey. (Another video from the scene shows Erdogan himself watching it unfold.)

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