Just last week, an international incident broke out on U.S. soil. When Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan visited Washington to meet with President Trump, chaos broke out near the Turkish Embassy. A group of protesters gathered to demonstrate against Turkish policies that some see as a threat to democracy.Amidst the chaos, a fight ensued between demonstrators and members of the Turkish security, resulting in 11 injuries. Videos of the violent skirmish immediately went viral, prompting outrage from many Americans.
However, the drama didn’t end there. As the dust settles and more information becomes available, Turkish officials are making a shocking accusation.From the Blaze:
Turkish diplomats have criticized the local police for failing to quell an “unpermitted” and “provocative” demonstration.The Turkish foreign ministry’s statement on Monday went even further, criticizing “the inability of U.S. authorities to take sufficient precautions at every stage of the official program.” And it demanded that the United States conduct a “full investigation of this diplomatic incident and provide the necessary explanation.”
It’s hard to see how a protest can be “unpermitted,” considering it took place on U.S. soil and not within the Turkish embassy. Nevertheless, Turkey seems intent on accusing the United States of being at fault for the incident.
Moreover, Turkey’s stunning accusation directly contradicts U.S. officials on the matter:The U.S. State Department blamed the attack on Turkish security and condemned the violence as an attack on free speech, according to the New York Times. The State Department also summoned Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kılıç, but the character of the conversation is unknown.
“We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
Not only that, Turkey’s accusation also contradicts the local law enforcement investigation that took place:
However, the Post reported that the Turkish government contradicted local police reports that the incident was incited by Erdogan’s security and put the blame squarely on D.C. police for not providing thorough enough security to prevent the demonstration against Erdogan. Turkish officials have demanded a full investigation.No matter who is to blame, the incident comes as tensions are already high between the NATO allies. Turkish and American forces have often been at odds with each other in how to take the fight to ISIS in Syria. Now, the two countries are battling it out over the blame for an unfortunate incident here at home.
It is still unclear what exactly ignited the violence during the protest. However, Turkey’s recollection of the events is at odds with multiple U.S. agency conclusions. Either way, the controversy won’t be a step in the right direction for an already fragile relationship.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]