Grand jury indicts 16 Erdogan thugs relating to melee during Turkish president's visit
A Washington, D.C. grand jury indicted 19 people in connection with a protest against the regime of Turkish president Recep Erdoğan during his visit to America in May.
Sixteen of those indicted were Turkish "security guards" who attacked demonstrators, injuring several.
The indictments before the Superior Court for the District of Columbia were made public on Tuesday by the Justice Department.
The defendants, 16 of whom were charged in June on criminal complaints, were indicted on a charge of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence. Many of the 19 were also indicted on additional charges including assault with a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault.
The charges stem from Turkish President Recep Erdogan's visit to Washington in May to meet President Trump. Guards for Erdogan attacked protesters near the embassy in a brawl that was caught on video.
The Turkish Embassy defended the guards at the time, saying they were acting in self-defense and claiming the protesters were aligned with a terrorist group from Turkey.
But Washington's police chief said the attack was unprovoked.
Nine people were taken to the hospital after the violent skirmish, but none were seriously injured.
Two of the defendants were arrested in June following the incident, but the rest of the defendants are currently at large.
Sending a couple of dozen thugs to beat up protesters was overkill. But that seems to be the way Erdoğan is consolidating his power – exactly what the demonstrators were protesting.
Here's a video of the mêlée that played a prominent role in the indictments:
In fact, I can't recall a similar attack by government thugs on those protesting a regime in America, and certainly not in the numbers Erdoğan employed to attack peaceful demonstrators.
The Turkish president was obviously concerned about the effect back home of people demonstrating against his ever growing power. But unlike demonstrations in Turkey, where he can easily scotch coverage, he doesn't have that kind of power in the U.S. The overreaction of his "security guards" ended up looking much worse than any anti-Erdoğan demonstration ever could.