Turkish FM visits two Turks jailed in US for brawl during Erdoğan’s visit
WASHINGTONForeign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has visited two Turkish citizens imprisoned in the U.S. for their alleged involvement in a brawl during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to the country in May that has raised tensions between the two countries.
Çavuşoğlu tweeted on Sept. 23 that he visited Sinan Narin and Eyüp Yıldırım and said he passed on “our nation’s love and greetings.”
The men were photographed in orange jumpsuits with the minister.
The two defendants are among 19 suspects accused of attacking protesters outside the residence of the Turkish Ambassador to Washington during the May 16 visit by the president. Turkey had said the demonstrators were members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Four people had been detained immediately after the brawl and one of them had later been released on the same day.
But Narin and Yıldırım were arrested in June and charged with multiple counts of assault. The next hearing in their case will be held on Oct. 10.
Sources from the foreign ministry told state-run Anadolu Agency that Yıldırım was transferred to the Central Treatment Facility, which had better conditions, and efforts were ongoing for Narin to be transferred there too.
They added that the duo was receiving regular visits by consulate officials and their lawyers.
The indictment also accused 15 bodyguards, including the head of Erdoğan’s security detail, which drew condemnation by the president who had stated that “it is clearly a scandalous sign of how justice works in America.”
Following a translated interview with Erdoğan during his recent visit last week, U.S. TV show PBS NewsHour reported that the Turkish president had said U.S. President Donald Trump had “said he was sorry” for the incident.