More arrests in connection to Turkish protest skirmish
Metropolitan Police have arrested two more people in connection with a violent skirmish outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence last month.
Sinan Narin of Virginia was charged with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor assault, police said in an email.
Eyup Yildirim of New Jersey was charged with felony assault with significant bodily injury, felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor assault. He is being held in New Jersey and is awaiting extradition to Washington.
The arrests come nearly one month after members of Turkish President Tayip Recepp Erdogan’s security team, along with pro-Erdogan demonstrators, attacked pro-Kurdish protesters outside the residence of the ambassador’s residence on May 16.
Mr. Erdogan had just left a meeting with President Trump at the White House. Video recorded by Voice of America showed the Turkish president looking on as the fighting began.
Other video captured by VOA and on cellphones showed men in dark suits, khaki uniforms and armed with pistols, kicking, punching and choking pro-Kurdish protesters who were accompanied by D.C. police in an approved demonstration against the Turkish president’s visit.
At least 11 people and one police officer were injured during the fight.
Two people were arrested shortly after the fighting, although photos of nearly 24 people were identified in a report by The New York Times when scrutinizing video footage of the fight.
In the report, Mr. Narin is seen in video footage with blood on his face and his shirt ripped open before running across the street and kicking proKurdish protester Lucy Usoyan who had been pushed to the ground.
“I wasn’t paying attention,” Mr. Narin said in an interview with The New York Times. “I thought it was a man. I would never kick a woman,” adding that he was trying to protect himself.
Mr. Yildirim was also identified in the Times report as also kicking Ms. Usoyan while she lay on the ground.
The only other men the The Times was able to identify by name and appeared to be private citizens included Alpkenan Dereci, a cousin of Mr. Yildrim and who had traveled to D.C. from Toronto with is other cousin, Ahmet C. Dereci.
Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said at the time the department would do everything in its power to bring those accountable to justice. He did not comment on the difficulties of arresting and charging members of Mr. Erdogan’s security team, who possibly would be protected by diplomatic immunity and had left the country.