Turkey rejects U.S. Congress' resolution on protest violence

The scene outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington D.C., after an altercation on May 16, 2017.


ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey has rejected a resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives that condemned violence by Turkish bodyguards against protesters during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Washington last week.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement released late Thursday described the resolution as "one-sided" and said it "distorted the facts."

Video from the incident showed members of Erdogan's security detail violently breaking up a peaceful protest outside the Turkish ambassador's residence, hitting and kicking demonstrators.

The incident caused outrage in the United States, prompting the U.S. State Department to summon the Turkish ambassador in Washington for a formal complaint, and on Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan demanded that Turkey condemn the violence and apologize.

Turkey has blamed the violence on U.S. authorities who they claimed failed to take necessary measures outside the residence. This week, Turkey summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest what it called "aggressive and unprofessional actions" of U.S. security personnel.

Ryan said Thursday that the violence was "completely indefensible," and he welcomed the House resolution condemning the attacks.

He said in a statement that Turkey is an important ally, but its leaders must "fully condemn and apologize for this brutal behavior against innocent civilians exercising their First Amendment rights."

Ryan said the response from the Erdogan government had been "wholly inadequate."