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Breaking: Warrants Issued for the Arrest of Members of President Erdogan’s Security Detail

D.C. Police Release the Names of Charged Individuals; ANCA Urges Trump Administration to Take Action and Demand that Turkey Lift Claims to Diplomatic Immunity for those Involved in Crime

WASHINGTON (A.W.)—During a press conference on June 15, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham announced that arrest warrants have been issued for the arrest of 12 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail and Turkish police officers in connection with the May 16 attack on peaceful protesters in front of the Turkish Ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C.

A screenshot from a video of the attack by Turkish security forces, captured by Voice of America’s Turkish service (Photo: Voice of America)

Yesterday, it was reported that United States Marshals had arrested two Turkish men living in the U.S., for their role in beating peaceful protesters on May 16. Two arrests of Turkish-Americans Eyup Yildirim—an owner of a construction company in New Jersey—and Sinan Narin—a Virginia resident—were made by law enforcement officials. Yildirim was charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury, felony Aggravated Assault, and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner, while Narin was charged with felony Aggravated Assault and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner.

According to a Washington D.C. Police Department press release, a total of 18 individuals have been charged or are facing charges. Photographs of the 14 individuals, including Turkish security officers, who have outstanding warrants for their arrests, were also released by D.C. Police.

Photographs of the 14 individuals, including Turkish security officers, who have outstanding warrants for their arrests, were also released by D.C. Police.

According to the D.C. Police, 14 individuals have outstanding warrants for their arrests and are identified below:

  • Turgut Akar, a Turkish security official, charged with misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Ismail Dalkiran, a Turkish security official, charged with misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Servet Erkan, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Tugay Erkan, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Ahmet Karabay, a Turkish security official, charged with misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Feride Kayasan, a Turkish security official, charged with misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Lutfu Kutluca, a Turkish security official, charged with misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Mustafa Murat Sumercan, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Gokhan Yildirim, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury
  • Ismail Ergunduz, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Mehmet Sarman, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Aggravated Assault and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Hamza Yurteri, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Aggravated Assault and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Mahmut Sami Ellialti, charged with felony Aggravated Assault and felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury
  • Ahmet Cengizham Dereci, charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner

In response to a question from the Armenian Weekly, D.C. Police Chief Newsham acknowledged that investigators are looking into the role of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the May 16 attack, but indicated that, despite the available video and other evidence, there is not yet sufficient probable cause to seek his arrest.

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham speaking at the June 15 press conference (Photo: ANCA)

“As I’ve said before, I condemn this attack. It was an affront to our values as Washingtonians and as Americans and was a clear assault on the First Amendment. As Americans, the First Amendment grants us the right to assemble and protest peacefully, and here in D.C., we are committed to safeguarding and protecting that right,” Mayor Bowser said during the press conference. She then thanked the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. State Department, and the D.C. U.S. Attorney for their cooperation with the Washington D.C. Police Department.

Below is video of the press conference via ABC News Politics.

“I just want to be perfectly clear that we take our position in the United States as the nation’s capital very seriously. We host demonstrations month-to-month. We host millions of people who come to the seat of their government to protest peacefully. We support them, we make sure that they are safe, but we also make sure that they follow our laws. Certainly anyone travelling to the United States will be held to that same standard. We will defend the First Amendment and we will make sure that our laws are being enforced,” the Mayor added.

Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) commended the Washington D.C. Police Department and applauded the decision to follow up with the filing of criminal charges. “This sends an important message that while violence and repression have become the norm in Erdogan’s Turkey, they remain unacceptable here. Bringing these thugs to justice will ultimately require the State Department to prioritize this issue with Turkey, and I will be urging them to ensure that those charged today face justice,” Schiff said in a statement.

Commenting on the matter, Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian said that the attacks on the peaceful protesters  were not only a brutal assault on American citizens but on “fundamental First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.”

“We [the ANCA] commend the efforts of Mayor Bowser, Chief Newsham, and all the law enforcement agencies involved in bringing the perpetrators to justice, and look forward to continuing to work with them to identify all involved.  Law enforcement is doing its part; now it’s time for the Trump Administration to take action and demand that Turkey lift any claims to diplomatic immunity for those involved in this crime, so that criminal proceedings can move forward and justice can be served,” Hamparian said following the June 15 announcement.

Hamparian was videotaping live at the scene of the May 16 attack, which took place in front of the Turkish Ambassador’s residence where President Erdogan was scheduled to have a closed-door meeting with representatives of The Atlantic Council, a leading think tank in Washington, D.C., which receives funding from Turkey. Hamparian’s video showed pro-Erdogan forces crossing a police line and beating peaceful protesters—elderly men and several women—who were on the ground bleeding during most of the attack.

Hamparian testified before a May 25th Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on this matter. Joining him at the hearing were Ms. Lusik Usoyan, Founder and President of the Ezidi Relief Fund; Mr. Murat Yusa, a local businessman and protest organizer; and Ms. Ruth Wedgwood, Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy, at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Usoyan and Yusa were victims of the May 16 assault.

On June 6, with a vote of 397 to 0, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously condemned Turkey in response to the attacks, taking a powerful stand against Ankara’s attempts to export its violence and intolerance to America’s shores.  H.Res.354, spearheaded by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), has received the public backing of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).  A companion measure has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

The House vote followed broad-based Congressional outrage expressed by over 100 Senate and House members through public statements, social media, and a series of Congressional letters.

Senate and House members also raised concerns about an announced $1.2 million sale of semi-automatic guns slated for use by Turkish President Erdognan’s security detail.  Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Democrat Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ed Royce have objected to the sale. Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Dave Trott (R-Mich.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) have also urged colleagues to co-sign a letter to Secretary Tillerson to block the gun sale to Turkey.

 

The Armenian Weekly is following the story closely and will provide updates as they become available. 

9 Comments on Breaking: Warrants Issued for the Arrest of Members of President Erdogan’s Security Detail

  1. avatar Pierre jabourian // June 15, 2017 at 1:05 pm // Reply

    I’m so happy to see this idiot thugs will get the American justice they deserve.next time they will be bitten by us they deserve.

  2. avatar Serop Bedrosian // June 15, 2017 at 2:03 pm // Reply

    I think arrest warrant should be issued for Erdogan in the first place. He ordered the attack. His security detail followed the orders of Erdogan. I don’t understand why Congress is not taking the next step besides passing a bill condemning the act of the Turkish thugs.

  3. Bravo! Hope to see all of them brought to justice & receive punishment they deserve. It should serve as a warning to anybody who wants to commit an assault on our land or to ORDER such indecent actions.

  4. avatar Martin Zartarian // June 16, 2017 at 8:42 am // Reply

    Let us not forget the original reasons for the peaceful protest. None of the news outlets reported what the protesting was about. That information would complete the picture of Turkey being led by an authoritarian dictator who is a self serving monster of dishonesty, deceit, and corruption.

  5. avatar Marjorie K. Nanian, Attorney // June 16, 2017 at 3:29 pm // Reply

    I considered the attack on American citizens by a foreign entity to be an act of war.

  6. Thugs should have faced justice here, before they had a chance to get on a plane back. They have forgotten what rule of law looks like.

  7. Non-Armenians like Mayor Bowser have every reason not to care about or do anything to help Armenians. Therefore, when they do, it is important that we provide positive reinforcement and express our gratitude. Please call or email the Mayor’s office to share our thanks:

    Phone: (202) 727-2643
    Email: eom@dc.gov

  8. avatar Lusine Hakobyan // June 17, 2017 at 5:45 pm // Reply

    Yet America never issues an arrest warrant for the H1-b Visa fraud, educational money theft, self-dealings, stealing bond and grant money to the Gulen Movement and their crime cartel. Instead they are allowed to operate 162 publicly funded charter schools in the USA, bribe members of Congress all the way to the white house which they were frequent visitors to. Not to mention the gaggle of NGOs they started and lobbying for Azerbaijan and lets not forget how they blocked several US Congress bills recognizing the Armenian Genocide. No the criminals stays in America to steal while the thug (AKP/ERdogan) created by the Gulen movement is blamed for everything. Doesn’t something seem fishy to you Armenians how members of congress use Gulen vs. Erdogan when they are both the same side of the coin? http://www.gulenpoliticians.blogspot.com

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