Turkey summons Kuwaiti diplomat after attack against a Turkish pilot

Turkey summons Kuwaiti diplomat after attack against a Turkish pilot

Turkey summons Kuwaiti diplomat after attack against a Turkish pilot

The F-16 fighter jet pilot, Hakan Karakuş, who works at NATO, was in Ankara on paternity leave. DHA Photo

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has summoned officials from the Kuwaiti Embassy to seek an explanation about the Sept. 10 incident in which an embassy attaché, Amad Ali Almohaid, and three companions beat up Lt. Col. Hakan Karakuş.

“Since the Kuwaiti Ambassador is out of Ankara, officials of the Kuwaiti Embassy have been invited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and are required to provide an explanation on the incident. The incident is being investigated by security and judicial authorities in all its aspects. The necessary steps will be taken according to the results and information will be provided on further developments,” a written statement issued by the Foreign Ministry said on Sept. 12.

“We called Lt. Col. Karakuş, wished him a speedy recovery and have obtained more information about the incident from him,” it added.

Following the Foreign Ministry’s statement, the General Staff also issued a statement on Sept. 12 condemning the assault on Lt. Col. Karakuş, who is the son-in-law of Air Forces Commander Gen. Akın Öztürk.

“We strongly condemn the reprehensible assault on the Turkish Armed Forces officer. We thank our citizens for their sensitivity and wish Karakuş a quick recovery,” the General Staff statement said.

Karakuş is a F-16 fighter jet pilot who works at NATO, and was in Ankara on paternity leave. When he was assaulted he was on his way to a healthcare center in the Çankaya district of the capital with his wife and his six-month-old baby, so that the latter could be vaccinated.

The embassy’s car reportedly turned sharply in front of Karakuş’s car, to which he reacted by blowing his own car’s horn. After this, the diplomats and driver got out of their car and told Karakuş they had the right of way. After the row escalated, the three men started to beat up Karakuş on the street.

The car belonging to the Kuwaiti Embassy was allegedly carrying Almohaid, Kuwaiti military attaché, Adel Ahmad Almunawer, and a Turkish driver.

The Kuwaiti Embassy officials kicked the pilot in the head several times, according to eyewitnesses. Several people who saw the incident attempted to protect Karakuş, and as the crowd grew the three embassy officials ran away, with one of the Kuwaiti attaché’s taking shelter in a nearby bank. The police arrived at the scene and took the necessary security measures so the diplomat would be protected. He was later taken to the police station for questioning. 

Almohaid was not detained by the police after he said he had diplomatic immunity, he was taken to the embassy after the incident.