House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) sent Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a letter, ahead of the United Nations General Assembly on September 12th , asking that he “take steps to ensure” that there is not another violent incident involving Turkish Security on U.S. soil.
The letter comes in light of a May incident involving Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s security detail. His bodyguards were caught on video attacking protesters outside the Turkish Embassy in D.C.
The House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution condemning the violence and a dozen members of the security detail now face charges.
Engel and Royce cite past issues with Erdogan’s security detail who in 2011 “engaged in a fight with United Nations security personnel and again in 2016, Turkish personnel attacked journalists at the Brookings Institution.”
They reference the resolution that passed the House that “called on the Department of State to confirm with Turkish National Police the expectations for visiting security details and review operating procedures to prevent future violent incidents.”
“We appreciate the Department’s cooperation with the criminal investigation into the May incident by local authorities in Washington D.C. and seek your assurance that those security personnel indicted for assaulting peaceful protestors will be denied visas to enter the United States as part of an official delegation,” they add.
“Mr. Secretary, foreign officials, including security personnel, must respect U.S. law while visiting this country,” the congressmen conclude. “Those who fail to do so must only be allowed to return to the United States to face the charges against them.”