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Video Shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Watching Attack on Washington Protesters

19 May 2017

-Turkish tensions that are being compounded by a growing spat over US war strategy against the Islamic State group in Syria.

A firebrand United States senator has advocated for Turkey's Ambassador Serdar Kilic's removal of diplomatic credentials after what he called "thuggish" clashes in front of the Turkish embassy in the United States capital.

Earlier President Trump and president Erdogan promised to strengthen ties between their two nations, despite the Turkish leader's stern warning about Washington's arming of Kurdish militias.

US officials strongly criticized the Turkish government after video appeared to show its president's security forces pushing past police and violently breaking up a protest outside their diplomatic residence in Washington. "It would be beneficial if this person is changed", Cavusoglu said.

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The skirmish came after President Donald Trump had welcomed Erdogan to the White House on Tuesday and praised him as a stalwart ally in the battle against Islamic extremism, ignoring Erdogan's authoritarian crackdown on his own people and recent tensions between the United States and Turkey over the military campaign against the Islamic State group. "This isn't Turkey; this isn't a third world country".

Washington and Ankara are bitterly at odds over USA support for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, which Turkey considers a front for outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels. USA officials said this month that the White House had approved supplying arms to the YPG, a decision that caused alarm in Ankara.

Kheirabadi told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he joined the demonstration, saying "Erdogan is a terrorist" and "Mr. Trump, please say no to Erdogan", when Turkish security staff "just attacked us".

Seconds later, other members of the presidential security detail run towards the protesters to confront them.

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The State Department called the latest incident "deeply disturbing", insisting that a "thorough investigation that will allow us to hold the responsible individuals accountable is of the upmost importance to us".

The VOA footage zooms in as Erdogan's security detail is seen punching and kicking the protesters. Video published Thursday appears to show Erdogan calmly watching the whole thing go down.

This is a ticklish worldwide situation that will put Mr. Trump's diplomatic skills to the test. Turkey has been a valuable ally in the ongoing fight against Muslim terrorists.

John McCain (R-AZ) said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

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Police in Washington broke up the melee, arrested two men and are pursuing charges against several others they are trying to identify with the help of the State Department and the Secret Service. The hashtag refers to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist group by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the European Union, and the United States.

Video Shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Watching Attack on Washington Protesters