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Ankara finds US Congress resolution on bodyguard attack ‘against spirit of alliance’

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Turkey has reacted to a US Congress resolution that condemns Turkey over the beating of protesters by bodyguards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Washington, D.C., last month, describing the move as being “against the spirit of alliance” between the two countries.

“The steps taken by the US legislative branches to distort and politicize the matter are not constructive. This is also against the spirit of alliance and partnership between Turkey and the US,” said Hüseyin Müftüoğlu, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution condemning Turkey over the beating of protesters by bodyguards of Erdoğan on May 16 in Washington, D.C., outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence.

H.Res. 354, spearheaded by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 25, came to the House floor on Tuesday for a vote. In total, 397 lawmakers voted in favor of the resolution, while no congressmen voted against.

On May 16, members of President Erdoğan’s security detail engaged in a violent brawl with a group of Kurdish-American and Armenian protesters. At least 11 protesters were injured.

Demonstrators protesting the policies of President Erdoğan, who was visiting Washington for a White House meeting with Donald Trump, were countered by agitated supporters of the Turkish head of state and subsequently attacked by the Turkish president’s bodyguards, footage of the incident shows.

Another video clip shows Erdoğan apparently giving the order for his security detail to attack the protesters and watching it unfold outside the ambassador’s residence on Sheridan Circle.

The revelation of multiple video recordings featuring bodyguards attacking protesters, kicking women on the ground, has sent shockwaves across the political spectrum in the U.S. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, even called for the expulsion of Turkish Ambassador to the US Serdar Kılıç in a reflection of dismay and rage.

Erdoğan should never be allowed to visit the United States again and Turkey’s ambassador in Washington should be expelled were some of the strong comments made during a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on May 25 concerning violence perpetrated by Erdoğan’s bodyguards.

The Turkish Embassy released a statement claiming the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was responsible for the fracas, while the US State Department expressed concern about the “violent incidents involving protestors and Turkish security personnel” and summoned Ambassador Kılıç to explain the incident.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry was incensed by the media depiction of the altercation between protesters and bodyguards. After summoning the American ambassador in Ankara, the Foreign Ministry castigated the US authorities over “aggressive and unprofessional actions” against Turkish security team members.

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