DC police to charge 12 Turkish security agents

Posted June 16, 2017

"Security officials who work for the Turkish Embassy likely hold "administrative and technical status", which means that they are not subject to arrest or detention and enjoy immunity from criminal jurisdiction". Most of the security detail, who were tasked with guarding the president during his trip to the capitol, face simple assault charges, although two face felony charges of assault causing significant bodily injury.

Ahmet Cengizham Dereci, left, and Mahmut Sami Ellialti, pictured in a news release from Washington, D.C., police, are wanted in connection with a brawl that broke out while Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was visiting the United States.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the charges "send a clear message that the United States does not tolerate individuals who use intimidation and violence to stifle freedom of speech and legitimate political expression".

In addition to the 14 outstanding warrants, police will ask for the public's help in identifying additional perpetrators of the violence. He repeatedly urged those with an outstanding warrant to turn themselves over to US officials.

Of the twelve men, seven will be charged with felonies and five with misdemeanors, a law enforcement official was quoted as telling the Chicago Tribune.

However, they could end up being threatened with arrest if they return to the US.

"Any additional actions regarding execution of these warrants will be weighed by the State Department as appropriate under relevant laws and regulations", he added, noting the State Department has been helpful in supporting the investigation, and insisting no one from the Turkish embassy has been implicated. Nine people were hurt.

The charges come nearly a month after Erdogan's guards made worldwide headlines when cell phones and video cameras caught the men kicking, choking, and shoving protesters on Washington's Sheridan Circle. Sinan Narin, 45, of Virginia plead not guilty in a D.C. court Thursday afternoon, and Eyup Yildirim, 50, of New Jersey, is in custody in his home state and awaiting extradition to D.C.

Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said they chanted anti-Erdogan slogans, and that the Turkish president's team moved in to disperse them because "police did not heed to Turkish demands to intervene".

Correction: June 15, 2016A previous version of this article misidentified the gender of one of the people charged today.

Turkey will respond to problems at their source, whenever it is necessary, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Thursday. Video showed Erdogan watching as beatings took place.

"This incident would not have occurred if the US authorities had taken the usual measures they take in similar high-level visits, and therefore that Turkish citizens can not be held responsible for the incident that took place", they added.

They were both said to have been anti-Erdogan protesters.