Turkish ties hit rough patch after rough Erdogan visit
May 19 2017 by Michele Stevens
Police said the fighting that flared outside the Turkish ambassador's residence on Tuesday injured 11 people, including a Washington police officer, and led to two arrests.
Speaking in Istanbul two days after meeting President Donald Trump in Washington, Erdogan criticised the United States decision to ally with "terror organisations" for the long-awaited operation to capture Raqqa, the de facto capital of IS.
Top congressional Republicans are demanding the Trump administration take swift and severe action against the Turkish government in response to violence involving members of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail, with one saying the U.S.
Washington's Metropolitan Police Department said it had arrested two USA residents Ayten Necmi, 49, and Jalal Kheirabadi, 42, over the incident.
Turkey's official news station, Anadolu, reported however that the bodyguards and Turkish citizens moved on the protesters after the police refused to silence their anti-Erdogan chants.
But the police said they are also working with the US State Department and Secret Service "to identify and hold all suspects" - suggesting that they are seeking to interview Erdogan's security detail. "The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured". He said police were examining video to identify those responsible.
Turkey's foreign minister also demanded that a USA envoy be removed for allegedly backing the Kurds, but the State Department said Brett McGurk has the "full support" of the Trump administration.
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"We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms". "There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior", McCain said on his Twitter account.
Sen. Patrick Leahy's tweet said "We've got to come back to American values". "This is the United States of America".
But Trump stood out in his praise for Erdogan in April, surprising the global community when he called the Turkish president to congratulate him on a controversial referendum win that expanded his power. Online court records say he must return to court June 1 and Necmi on July 12.
The U.S. sees the Syrian Kurds as its best battlefield partner on the ground in northern Syria.
Turkey considers the People's Protection Units, or YPG, a terror organization and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-long insurgency against the country.
Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the Trump administration understood Turkey's position against the YPG.
At their meeting Tuesday, Trump said the US would re-establish its military and economic partnership with Turkey, committing to backing Turkey's defense against both Islamic State and the PKK.