State Calls in Turkish Ambassador Over Violence Against Protesters

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: May 19, 2017 8:10 AM
State Calls in Turkish Ambassador Over Violence Against Protesters

The State Department summoned Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kilic after bodyguards for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan violently attacked protesters Tuesday.

“We can confirm that Ambassador Kilic was summoned to the State Department and met with Under Secretary [of State Thomas] Shannon on Wednesday,” a State official told NBC News Thursday.

As Lauretta reported last night, video emerged of Erdogan calmly watching his bodyguards beating up protesters, which sent nine to the hospital and left many bruised and bloody.

And while State also confirmed that two members of the Turkish president’s security team were detained after the attacks, they were soon released on diplomatic immunity grounds.

Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham called the attack against protesters “brutal” and said that it’s not something that will be tolerated in the nation’s capital.

“This is a city where people should be allowed to come and peacefully protest,” Newsham added.

The Turkish embassy claimed the president’s bodyguards were acting in “self-defense.”