Two Turks jailed over Washington brawl to be freed soon: US court
Two American-Turkish men accused of assaulting protesters last year while Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was visiting the U.S. capital will be released from prison in 10 days, a court said on April 5.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, U.S. lawyer Gunay Evinch, who has followed the case from the beginning, said Sinan Narin, 46, of Virginia and Eyüp Yıldırım, 51, of New Jersey were sentenced to “a year and a day” with credit for time served after they were arrested on June 15, 2017.
Evinch said Narin and Yıldırım will also receive two months credit for good behavior, so they will be released in 10 days.
The two had each pleaded guilty in December 2017 to one count of assault with significant bodily injury.
Noting that the U.S. Attorney’s Office dropped five of the six charges against them, Evinch said the accusations would not be provable in court beyond a reasonable doubt.
The May 16 fight between Turkish security personnel and demonstrators protesting the president strained relations between Turkey and the United States. Eleven people were hurt.
In June 2017, U.S. prosecutors charged a dozen Turkish security and police officers with assault.
Ankara said the demonstrators protesting outside its ambassador’s residence were linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), while Washington’s police chief referred to it as a “brutal attack” on peaceful protesters.
Following the incident, the Turkish Embassy criticized the demonstrators for “provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president.”