Turkey summons U.S. ambassador to protest 'aggressive' handling of Turkish bodyguards

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WHO-Travel-2

The Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement that "it has been formally requested that the USA authorities conduct a full investigation of this diplomatic incident and provide the necessary explanation".

The statement issued by the Turkish Embassy trying to justify the actions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's bodyguards at a protest outside the ambassador's residence is nearly as outrageous as the violence that occurred last week.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey summoned the American ambassador on Monday to protest what it called "aggressive and unprofessional actions" by American security personnel against Turkish bodyguards during a violent incident last week in Washington.

High-ranking soldiers, including the former head of Turkey's air force, are among those accused of attempting to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Video of Erdogan impassively observing the melee for a few moments and then departing without doing anything to stop it has fueled suspicions he approved of the attack on demonstrators or even ordered it.

The senators who oversee the USA foreign aid budget have warned the Turkish government there could be fiscal repercussions if Ankara fails to punish the bodyguards responsible for a violent incident in Washington.

The State Department in a statement confirmed that Turkey called on the US ambassador to discuss the incident.

Republican Sen. John McCain said during a TV interview last week, "We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America".

Turkey's response to the incident could add salt to the wounds of this new diplomatic rift between Washington and Ankara.

The incident occurred outside the residence of the Turkish ambassador with the president watching for a few seconds before turning to go inside.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the US has expressed its "dismay" to Turkish officials about last week's clash in which Turkish security personnel apparently attacked demonstrators in Washington.

The Turkish embassy claimed that the protesters were "affiliated with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party)" - a banned separatist group in Turkey - and had assembled without permission.

Video footage of the clash showed men in suits charging past police to kick and punch protesters.

Tillerson said an investigation has to conclude before it's decided if the ambassador should be expelled. Police say the Turkish guards engaged in an attack on peaceful protesters.

The PPK has waged a three-decade-long insurgency against Turkey and is considered a terrorist group by the United States.

State Department officials have already summoned Bass's Turkish counterpart to express their concerns, and a senior official told CNN that they had questioned two members of Erdogan's security detail.

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