Lawmakers introduce measure condemning Turkish violence in DC

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Top lawmakers in the House are introducing a resolution condemning Turkish security forces’ use of violence against protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington last week.

The resolution was introduced by the top Republican and Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and co-sponsored by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

The resolution also calls on the State Department to review its security procedures in order to prevent similar violent incidents from happening again.

{mosads}Violence erupted between protesters and security forces at the Turkish residence on May 16 while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in Washington to meet with President Trump. Nine people were taken to the hospital following the brawl.

The episode stirred diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and Turkey. Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kilic was summoned to the State Department a day after the incident to meet with Undersecretary Thomas Shannon, and two Turkish security workers were detained and released. 

While visiting foreign dignitaries and their entourages are granted immunity from arrest, the House resolution introduced Wednesday calls for the Turkish security workers to be “charged and prosecuted under United States law.”

A response from a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the House “hastily voted and passed a one-sided resolution which distorts the facts. We reject the said resolution.”

The statement said last week’s incident “was caused as a result of the refusal of US authorities to take necessary security measures, despite repeated official warnings.”

“Further advancement of this resolution in the legislative process with a view to changing the basis will not help the settlement of the matter,” the statement added. “We would like to keep our hope that the developments regarding this matter, which we will be following closely, will not overshadow the visit which we consider was productive.”

Updated 6:27 p.m. 

Tags Donald Trump Ed Royce Kevin McCarthy Recep Tayyip Erdoğan State Department Steny Hoyer Turkish embassy

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