Turkish Foreign Ministry criticizes US resolution over Washington brawl

Turkish Foreign Ministry criticizes US resolution over Washington brawl

Turkish Foreign Ministry criticizes US resolution over Washington brawl

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Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has rejected a resolution by senior U.S. lawmakers condemning a street brawl between protesters and Turkish security personnel outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hüseyin Müftüoğlu called the resolution “one-sided” and said it “distorts the facts.”

“We reject the resolution in question,” he said in a statement on May 25.      

The spokesperson reiterated Turkey’s argument that the incident that took place in front of the Turkish ambassador’s residence during the visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Washington, stemmed from U.S. authorities’ refusal to take necessary security measures, despite repeated official warnings.

“There is no answer to the question why the U.S. authorities did not take tight security measures in front of the ambassador’s residence as they did at other stages of the visit. Likewise, no explanation has so far been provided for the incident that took place afterwards in front of the Chancery, which was caused by the extreme and aggressive actions of the U.S. security authorities and was officially protested by our ministry,” read the statement.

Continuing to push the resolution through the legislative process will not help settle the matter, said the spokesperson, adding that Turkey would like to retain hope that the developments regarding the matter, which Ankara will be following closely, will not overshadow the visit which was “considered productive.”

On May 25, The House Committee on Foreign Affairs approved a non-binding resolution condemning the violence by Turkish security forces during Erdoğan’s visit on May 16.

The resolution was led by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Ed Ryce and supported by ranking Democrat Eliot Engel of New York, as well as bi-partisan support from Republican majority leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Democratic whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

The brawl during Erdoğan’s visit to meet U.S. President Donald Trump caused a diplomatic dispute between the two NATO allies.

At least 11 people were injured in the encounter, two so seriously they had to go to the hospital.

Turkey blamed the violence on demonstrators linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) while Washington’s police chief described the incident as a “brutal attack” on peaceful protesters.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement that the conduct of Turkish security personnel during the incident was “deeply disturbing,” while the Turkish government summoned the U.S. ambassador in Ankara to discuss the “violent incidents.” 

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on May 22 also summoned U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass over the brawl to deliver a verbal and written protest.