Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Turkey demands U.S. fire envoy in spat over Syrian Kurds


By coddling dictators such as Erdogan and allowing Turkey to export its "democratic" values by silencing its opposition through threats and violence, the US administration displays weakness, encourages further incidents, and puts American citizens at risk.

United States officials told Ankara that the YPG would not constitute a threat for Turkey and that arms supplied by Washington would be used in Raqa and in the south, not against Turkey, Cavusoglu said. It made no mention of Turkish security personnel, and blamed the unrest on demonstrators supporting the PKK, a group "which the USA and Turkey have designated as a terrorist organization". "It would be useful if this person was replaced", Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told NTV television.

Nauert said in her statement that the United States respects Turkey's concerns about its approach, and will continue regular consultations on the issue.

The meeting of the Turkish envoy and the USA official took place at the State Department on Wednesday, and comes amid an outcry among U.S. lawmakers. Seconds later, men in suits working in some capacity for the Turkish government go after the protesters.

A congressional aide told The Associated Press that two members of Erdogan's security detail were detained on the scene Tuesday by diplomatic security agents, and they quickly claimed diplomatic immunity and were released.

The State Department called the latest incident "deeply disturbing", insisting there would be a "thorough investigation that will allow us to hold the responsible individuals accountable is of the upmost importance to us". "I'm scared now too because I don't know how it will affect my life here in the United States", said Tankan, who lives in Arlington, Virginia.

But the Turkish Embassy said the demonstrators were aggressively provoking Turkish-Americans who had gathered to greet the president, and they in turn responded in self-defence. Video shows Erdogan supporters and bodyguards flooding through the police line and beating protesters on American soil.

Last week, the Trump administration announced that it would arm the YPG - as a delegation of high-level Turkish military and intelligence officials were visiting Washington in advance of Erdogan's meeting with Trump. "As I have previously done so, I have been frankly communicating our expectations with regard to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization, which we have notified our friends of their involvement in the failed coup of July the 15th in Turkey", the White House translates Erdogan's statement as reading. A US official said Thursday that wasn't the case.

Newsham said that Tuesday's scuffle wounded 11 people and one police officer, with nine receiving treatment at local hospitals. It also fueled the perception that the US allows Turkey's leader to bring strongman tactics with him when he visits the USA capital.

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