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D.C. Police Arrest Two, Plan Charges Against Erdogan Security Guards


WASHINGTON -- Two men have been arrested in connection to a brawl between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security guards and protesters in Washington and charges are planned against a dozen guards, officials said on June 14.

The melee outside the Turkish ambassador's residence during Erdogan's visit to the United States last month strained U.S.-Turkish relations. Eleven people were hurt in what Washington's police chief described as a "brutal attack" on peaceful protesters.

Washington police said that Sinan Narin of Virginia was accused of felony aggravated assault, while the second man, Eyup Yildirim of New Jersey, faces two felony assault charges. Media said both were among the protesters during last month's fracas.

Yildirim is in custody in New Jersey. His attorney David Holman said Yildirim is a business owner with three kids and ties to the local community and has received death threats over the incident.

The clash happened as Erdogan arrived at the ambassador's residence after a White House meeting with President Donald Trump on May 16.

The Turkish Embassy has blamed the violence on demonstrators linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, which Turkey and the United States consider a terrorist group -- a charged denied by the protesters.

Media reported that law enforcement officials plan to announce charges on June 15 against a dozen members of the Turkish president's security detail.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Peter Newsham are scheduled to hold a news conference on the incident.

The U.S. State Department said it is committed to holding those responsible for the violence accountable.

"Any further steps will be responsive and proportional to the charges," it said.

The violent altercation in the streets of the U.S. capital brought overwhelming condemnation from members of the U.S. Congress and city officials. The State Department has said it had made its concern known to Turkey "in the strongest possible terms."

With reporting by The New York Times, AP, and Reuters
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