Two men plead guilty to assault after brawl near Turkey’s embassy in US
WASHINGTON – Reuters
Two men pleaded guilty on Dec. 21 to felony assault in a street brawl in May near the Turkish embassy in Washington during a visit by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the United States Justice Department said.
Sinan Narin, 45, of McLean, Virginia, and Eyüp Yıldırım, 50, of Manchester, New Jersey each pleaded guilty to one count of assault in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Sentencing for the two is scheduled for March 15, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
The May 16 clash between Turkish security personnel and demonstrators protesting against the president strained relations between Turkey and the United States. Eleven people were hurt. In June, U.S. prosecutors charged a dozen Turkish security and police officers with assault.
Ankara said the brawl outside its ambassador’s residence on demonstrators was linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), while Washington’s police chief referred to it as a “brutal attack” on peaceful protesters.
According to the plea deals released by the Justice Department on Dec. 21, a crowd supporting Erdoğan that day “outnumbered the protesters by at least two to one.”
Prosecutors said Narin, who was employed as a limousine driver and was not associated with Turkish security personnel, was captured on video while kicking a protester who then suffered a concussion.
Yıldırım was also captured on video kicking another protester, prosecutors said. That protester also suffered a concussion and needed five stitches. He is also not associated with Turkish security personnel, the Justice Department said.