2 out of 4 security detail accused by US weren't in country, Erdoğan says

Published 20.09.2017 20:58
Updated 20.09.2017 23:44
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017 (Reuters Photo)
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017 (Reuters Photo)

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the U.S. for filing charges against his security detail for incidents which happened in May, saying that two out of four staff who are accused by U.S. were not even in the country at the time of the incidents.

Speaking at Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, Erdoğan said that the U.S. indictment targeting his security detail is politically biased.

Erdoğan noted that President Donald Trump is closely following developments regarding the indictment on Turkish security detail targeted by U.S. prosecutor, adding that he has told his U.S. counterpart that the decision is a mistake.

The president highlighted that no charges have been filed against pro-PKK demonstrators, who attacked Turkish supporters near the embassy.

During Erdoğan's visit to the U.S. back in May, supporters of the PKK terrorist organization, officially recognized as such by the U.S., triggered a melee outside of Turkey's embassy in Washington, D.C. Following the incident, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the failure by U.S. authorities to effectively take precautions was the main cause of the incident.

On May 16, the first fight reportedly broke out at the Turkish embassy when supporters of the terrorist group threw water bottles at Turkish citizens, triggering a 10-to-15 second scuffle in the middle of the road. Only two police officers interceded in the fight and it was clear the police were not ready, as there were only around 10 police officers outside the embassy.

Later, when Erdoğan arrived at the embassy building, protesters continued their grave insults, shouted slogans and threw more bottles. The head of the president's security detail stepped in, followed by Turkish citizens who were there to see their president. Only after security interceded, the protesting group was able to be dispersed.

Erdoğan also touched upon the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) upcoming independence referendum, saying that he will discuss the issue with other Turkish officials at the National Security Council Friday.

"We've always said that Iraq should not disintegrate" Erdoğan said, adding that he has consistently warned the KRG to avoid making a grave mistake, as there are Arabs and Turkmens living in the region.

Meanwhile, Erdoğan said that he will speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday regarding the Syrian crisis.

He noted that Turkey and Russia have successfully mended bilateral ties after the jet-downing crisis.

"We have been through a negative period with Russia" Erdoğan said and added: "Nevertheless, after the reconciliation period, our foreign trade volume with Russia has been skyrocketing. We have achieved 36 billion dollars of foreign trade with Russia and given the geographical proximity of the two countries, it is bound to increase even more."

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