Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Donald Trump apologised for protesters his bodyguards 'beat up'

White House denies US President issued apology for mass brawl in Washington DC in May

Lydia Smith
Wednesday 20 September 2017 10:51
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The clash between Turkish security and protesters took place in May
The clash between Turkish security and protesters took place in May

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed Donald Trump apologised for the clash between Erdogan’s bodyguards and protesters in Washington DC in May.

In an interview with PBS on Tuesday, Mr Erdogan said: “President Trump called me about a week ago about this issue.

“He said that he was sorry and he told me that he was going to follow up on this issue when we come to the United States within the framework of an official visit.”

The White House has denied Mr Trump apologised to the Turkish President, saying the pair had “discussed a wide range of issues but there was no apology”.

In May, violence broke out when the Turkish President’s security and pro-Erdogan supporters attacked Kurdish and Armenian protesters while Mr Erdogan visited Washington DC.

Nine people were injured in the brawl outside the Turkish embassy.

Last month, a grand jury in DC issued indictments for 19 people for attacking the demonstrators. Fifteen were identified as Turkish security officials.

All 19 have been charged with conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, which is punishable by a statutory maximum of 15 years in prison, and several face additional charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

Two of the accused have been arrested. Of the 17 men at large, two are Canadian citizens and the rest Turkish nationals.

President Erdogan criticised the indictment decision in June, accusing the US police of allowing “terrorists” to demonstrate “50 metres from me”.

“Why would I bring my guard with me to the United States, if not to protect me?” he said at a speech in Ankara, adding he would fight “politically and judicially” against the charges.

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