Criminal charges will be announced against 12 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s security detail, accused by authorities of attacking protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence on May 16, The Washington Post has reported.
Arrest warrants have been issued and the suspects, all believed to be in Turkey, are now wanted in the United States, although law enforcement and legal experts have said that bringing the attackers to justice could be difficult since Turkey is unlikely to extradite the suspects or make them available for interviews, according to the report.
In related news on Wednesday, two Turkish men resident in the United States were arrested by US Marshals for their role in the beating of protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C., last month, according to a report by The Daily Caller.
The State Department confirmed in a statement to The Daily Caller that the arrests had been made, saying: “Now that charges have been filed, the Department will weigh additional actions for the named individuals, as appropriate under relevant laws and regulations. Any further steps will be responsive and proportional to the charges.”
According to the report, the DC Metropolitan Police identified the two men as Eyüp Yıldırım and Sinan Narin. Yıldırım, a construction company owner from New Jersey, faces charges of bodily injury and aggravated assault. Narin, from Virginia, is facing charges of aggravated assault.
A State Department official told Fox News that they had to wait for these charges before they could “kick them out of the country.”
The two are accused of attacking American citizens outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence on Sheridan Circle, an upscale diplomatic neighborhood in northwest Washington. The demonstrators had gathered to protest the policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was in the capital for a meeting with Donald Trump. When Erdogan later arrived at the ambassadorial residence, his security detail, along with supporters of the Turkish president, was captured in video footage brutally attacking the group of demonstrators. Nine people were injured in the melee.
Erdoğan was also seen in the footage watching his bodyguards assault the protesters.
The Turkish Embassy at the time claimed that Erdoğan’s bodyguards were acting in self-defense and that the protesters were affiliated with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party, allegations denied by the demonstrators.
The violent confrontation sparked an outcry from members of the US Congress and the passage of a resolution demanding that the perpetrators be brought to justice.