ISTANBUL (New York Times and Washington Post) — The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the American ambassador in Ankara on Monday, May 15, to complain about the detention of two Turkish security officers outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington last week, a Turkish official said.
The detentions occurred about two hours after Turkish government bodyguards were filmed assaulting several protesters outside the ambassador’s residence, which is separate from the embassy.
An official at the Turkish Embassy, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of a diplomatically tense case, said that the two Turkish guards were only briefly detained, and that they have since returned to Turkey.
Ambassador John R. Bass received a written and verbal condemnation of what the Turks called “aggressive and unprofessional actions” by American police officers toward the bodyguards, who were in Washington to protect President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mevlut Cavusoglu, the foreign minister.
In the episode last Tuesday, a demonstration outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington erupted into a brawl that pitted Armenian and Kurdish protesters against Turkish officials, supporters of Erdogan and the bodyguards. Nine people were hospitalized.
As American police officers tried to break up the fracas, several of the Turkish bodyguards were shoved and at least one was detained briefly.