Erdogan calls United States indictment of Turkish bodyguards "scandalous"

Erdogan calls United States indictment of Turkish bodyguards

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denounced as a "scandal" the decision by United States authorities to indict his security guards involved in a brawl in Washington DC in May.

Erdogan held his country's official line - that the civilian protesters his men brutalized were members of the armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - and defended his team on the grounds for "doing their job".

"We are protesting in the strongest terms that a biased indictment is accepted".

The District of Columbia Superior Court has indicted 19 people accused of attacking demonstrators gathered outside the Turkish ambassador's home, where Erdogan was visiting on May 16. Some protestors are heard shouting "Baby killer Erdogan" and "Long live YPG", a Syrian Kurdish militant group that has become a sore spot in U.S. -Turkey relations.

All but two of the 19 "security personnel and supporters of Erdogan" remain at large. In June, he condemned an arrest warrant for a dozen of his security guards and two others accused of taking part in a violent attack on protesters during the May visit to the USA capital.

"I am having a hard time trying to understand what the United States is trying to do in the face of all these developments", Erdogan concluded. The State Department summoned Turkey's USA ambassador to complain.

"If the security units of the United States of America are not able to fulfill their duties to protect, are my security officials not supposed to fulfill their duties [to protect] against an attack on us by members of the separatist terror organization PKK?"

Since a failed coup attempt previous year, Turkey has sacked or suspended more than 150,000 officials in purges, while sending to jail pending trial some 50,000 people, including soldiers, police and civil servants.

"The United States is still a country where the FETO gang is being protected", Erdogan said.

The crackdown has targeted people who authorities say are suspected of links to the network of USA -based cleric Fethullah Gulen.



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