Nationalist attackers of US soldiers in Istanbul face up to 10 years of prison: Indictment
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
A group of TGB member students had attacked two US soldiers, in the touristic Eminönü district of Istanbul, putting sacks over their heads, throwing dye over them, and chasing them away on Nov. 12. DHA PhotoA group of 13 Turks, members of the nationalist Turkish Youth Union (TYG) group, face between one and 10 years of prison on charges of “insult,” “inflicting injury,” and “violation of the protest and rally law,” for attacking two U.S. soldiers in November, according to the indictment sent to court.
A group of TGB member students had attacked two U.S. soldiers, who were in the city as part of a NATO mission, in the touristic Eminönü district of Istanbul, putting sacks over their heads, throwing dye over them, and chasing them away on Nov. 12.
Adem Meral, a prosecutor from the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office who prepared the indictment, demanded 10 years and six months in jail for the 13 suspects on charges of “insult,” “inflicting injury,” and “violation of the protest and rally law.”
The five-page indictment was sent to an Istanbul criminal court of first instance after it was approved by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. The court will decide in 15 days whether to accept the suit for trial or reject it.
The two sailors also testified and filed a complaint against the attackers, and their testimonies were included in the indictment.
Members of the TGB had followed the two soldiers after they exited the USS ROSS, which was docked in the Sarayburnu neighborhood of Eminönü for four days after returning from a NATO exercise in the Black Sea. They had shouted slogans “Yankee Go Home,” “Damn American Imperialism” and threw red dye on the soldiers while also putting sacks over their heads. The U.S. soldiers, who were wearing civilian clothing, were able to escape by running away.
The TGB members were inspired by a 2003 incident after U.S. soldiers staged an operation against Turkish soldiers based in Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq, in which they took 11 Turkish soldiers hostage and put sacks on their heads.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara condemned the recent attack in a statement released via its Twitter account.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry also joined condemnation of the assault, describing it as an “intolerable, disrespectful act.”