- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 15, 2017

The leading House Republican on foreign policy said Thursday he’s encouraged by reports of arrest warrants for Turkish security officials who attacked U.S. citizens in D.C. last month, but that the federal government should do more to make clear such acts aren’t tolerated nor rewarded.

“The violent attacks by Turkish security forces on peaceful protesters in Washington were completely and totally unjustified,” Ed Royce, California Republican and House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, said in a statement. “Now, the State Department should double down on efforts to help bring these individuals to justice.”

D.C. police are expected to announce arrest warrants for 12 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan security team who attacked peaceful pro-Kurdish protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence on May 16. The men left the country with the Turkish president but with warrants out for their arrest, they could face imprisonment if they return to the U.S.

Mr. Royce said the U.S. should also throw out a proposed sale of weapons and ammunition for Turkish security forces.

A day before the altercation outside the ambassador’s residence, the State Department approved the sale of 1,600 semi-automatic pistols to Turkish security forces, produced by U.S.-based company Sig Sauer, The New York Times reported at the time.

“The Department should reject the proposed sale of $1.2 million of semi-automatic handguns and ammunition to these security forces,” Mr. Royce said.

Four U.S. citizens have already been arrested for participating in the fighting, out of a possible 42 people responsible for the brunt of violent attacks against men and women who were repeatedly kicked, punched, choked while they either lay on the ground or were surrounded by numerous antagonists.

“These types of unprovoked attacks on innocent Americans and their constitutional rights can never happen again,” Mr. Royce said.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide