WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on violence that occurred outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington (all times local):
A senior Republican senator is calling for Turkey’s ambassador to be thrown out of the country in response to violence involving members of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahns) security detail.
Sen. John McCain expressed outrage at video that appears to show Erdogan’s bodyguards violently breaking up a protest earlier this week outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington. McCain is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and spoke Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
McCain says, “We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America.”
He says there must be a diplomatic response to the incident from the Trump administration. He suggests lawsuits against the responsible bodyguards.
The State Department says it has expressed its concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms.
U.S. officials have criticized the Turkish government over violence outside its ambassador’s residence in Washington.
The clash happened as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan returned to the embassy after meeting with President Donald Trump earlier Tuesday. Erdogan’s security staff moved in to break up an anti-government protest after police refused to make the demonstrators leave a park across the street. Nine people were hurt.
On Wednesday, the State Department said “violence is never an appropriate response to free speech.”
Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency labeled the protesters Kurdish “supporters of terror.” It said they chanted anti-Erdogan slogans, and that Erdogan’s team moved in to disperse them because “police did not heed to Turkish demands to intervene.”