- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 21, 2017

Two U.S. citizens involved in a melee outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in May pleaded guilty Thursday in a D.C. court to assault charges, while 17 other people, including Turkish security officers, remain at large.

Sinan Narin, 45, of McLean, Virginia, and Eyup Yildirim, 50, of Manchester, New Jersey, each pleaded guilty in the D.C. Superior Court to one felony count of assault with significant bodily injury, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

They will be sentenced in March, and are expected to receive a term of imprisonment of one year and one day. Both have been in custody since their arrests in June.

Narin had been charged with at least four counts of assault, and Yildirim with five counts of assault. Their guilty pleas were offered in exchange for lesser prison sentences and the dismissal of the other charges.

A conviction for assault with significant bodily injury can incur a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of $12,500.

The two men, both Turkish-American citizens, were involved in an assault on peaceful protesters who were demonstrating against the visit of Turkish President Recepp Tayip Erdogan to Washington, D.C., on May 16.

Bench warrants remain open for the arrests of 15 members of Mr. Erdognan’s security detail and two Canadian citizens who also have been charged with assault in the melee.

Video footage of the incident showed Mr. Erdogan’s security team launching themselves into the demonstrators and — joined by pro-Erdogan supporters — kicking, punching and choking the protesters.

While Mr. Erdogan’s security team who were involved the fighting were allowed to leave the U.S., Metropolitan Police have said that they will be arrested upon their re-entry.

The police department, D.C. officials and members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have denounced the Turkish security team’s attack on the protesters as a violation of their First Amendment rights.

Representatives from the Turkish Embassy have declined to comment.

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