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GOP senators to Turkey: Apologize for DC brawl

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Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Tom Cotton (Ark.) and Mike Lee (Utah) are demanding that Turkey apologize for a recent attack on protesters in Washington, D.C.

“We strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington,” the senators said in a statement Wednesday.

“Reports indicate that some Turkish officials were involved in assaulting protesters, which violates the most basic rules of democracy and is an affront to the United States and the value we place on the right to free speech, as embodied in our Constitution. We call upon the Turkish government to apologize immediately for the involvement of any officials.”  

{mosads}Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Wednesday also pressed Turkey to apologize.

“The Turkish government owes an apology,” he tweeted. “Perhaps they forgot we have unalienable rights in this country.”

And House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the administration should examine charges for those responsible.

Metropolitan Chief of Police Peter Newsham on Wednesday called attacks on protesters at the Turkish ambassador’s residence the day before in Washington “brutal.”

Newsham confirmed that 11 people and one police officer were injured in Tuesday’s commotion, with nine receiving treatment at local hospitals.

He added that authorities had arrested a New York man and charged him with aggravated assault, while a Fairfax, Va., man was arrested and charged with assault on a police officer.

NBC News reported earlier Wednesday that the men who beat up demonstrators on Tuesday were bodyguards of visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was returning from speaking with President Trump at the White House when the violence broke out.

Tags Ben Cardin D.C. Marco Rubio Mike Lee Politics Protests Republicans senators Ted Cruz Tom Cotton Turkey Washington

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