Warrants Issued for Erdogan Goons, DC Officials Confirm

Erdogan's security personnel attack peaceful protesters during demonstration near the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington DC on May 16, 2017. (Image: VOA Turkish Video/Screenshot)
The 14 Turkish citizens, some part of Erdogan's security details, who are wanted by US officials

The 14 Turkish citizens, some part of Erdogan’s security details, who are wanted by US officials

WASHINGTON—At a press conference Thursday, Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham announced that arrest warrants have been issued for 12 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail and Turkish police officers in connection with the May 16 attack on peaceful protesters in front of the Turkish Ambassador’s residence, which resulted in serious injuries

The DC police announced that after an extensive investigation with the State Department s Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police Department, a total of 18 individuals have been charged or are facing charges stemming from the attack on May 16.

“The May 16th Erdogan-ordered attacks on peaceful protesters in Washington DC were not only a brutal assault on American citizens but on our fundamental first amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,” Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America.

“We commend the efforts of Mayor Bowser, Chief Newsham and all the law enforcement agencies involved in bringing the perpetrators to justice, and look forward to continuing to work with them to identify all involved. Law enforcement is doing its part; now it’s time for the Trump Administration to take action and demand that Turkey lift any claims to diplomatic immunity for those involved in this crime, so that criminal proceedings can move forward and justice can be served,” added Hamparian.

“I want to commend the DC police department for acting bravely to protect protestors from a vicious assault, and applaud the decision to follow up with the filing of criminal charges. This sends an important message that while violence and repression have become the norm in Erdogan’s Turkey, they remain unacceptable here. Bringing these thugs to justice will ultimately require the State Department to prioritize this issue with Turkey, and I will be urging them to ensure that those charged today face justice,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee.

According to DC police, On May 16, Jalal Kheirabaoi, of Virginia was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault on a police officer and Ayten Necmi, of New York was charged with felony aggravated assault.

On Wednesday, the DC police arrested Sinan Narin, of Virginia, and charged him with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor assault or threatened assault in a menacing manner. Also arrested Wednesday was Eyup Yildirim, of New Jersey, who was charged with felony assault with significant bodily injury, felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor assault or threatened assault in a menacing manner.

The following 14 individuals who are part of Erdogan’s security team have outstanding warrants for their arrests:

  • Turgut Akar, a Turkish security official, charged with misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Ismail Dalkiran, a Turkish security official, charged with misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Servet Erkan, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Tugay Erkan, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Ahmet Karabay, a Turkish security official, charged with misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Feride Kayasan, a Turkish security official, charged with misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Lutfu Kutluca, a Turkish security official, charged with misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Mustafa Murat Sumercan, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Gokhan Yildirim, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury
  • Ismail Ergunduz, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Mehmet Sarman, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Aggravated Assault and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Hamza Yurteri, a Turkish security official, charged with felony Aggravated Assault and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner
  • Mahmut Sami Ellialti, charged with felony Aggravated Assault and felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury
  • Ahmet Cengizham Dereci, charged with felony Assault with Significant Bodily Injury and misdemeanor Assault or Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner

The ANCA’s Hamparian was videotaping live at the scene of the May 16th attack, which took place in front of the Turkish Ambassador’s residence where President Erdogan was scheduled to have a closed-door meeting with representatives of The Atlantic Council, a leading think tank in Washington, DC which receives funding from Turkey. Hamparian’s video showed pro-Erdogan forces crossing a police line and beating peaceful protesters – elderly men and several women – who were on the ground bleeding during most of the attack.

Hamparian testified before a May 25th Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on this matter. Joining him at the hearing were Ms. Lusik Usoyan, Founder and President of the Ezidi Relief Fund; Mr. Murat Yusa, a local businessman and protest organizer; and Ms. Ruth Wedgwood, Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy, at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Usoyan and Yusa were victims of the brutal assault on May 16th by President Erdogan’s bodyguards.

On June 6th, with a vote of 397 to 0, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously condemned Turkey in response to the attacks, taking a powerful stand against Ankara’s attempts to export its violence and intolerance to America’s shores. H.Res.354, spearheaded by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (D-NY), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), has received the public backing of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). A companion measure has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA).

The House vote follows broad-based Congressional outrage expressed by over 100 Senate and House members through public statements, social media, and a series of Congressional letters.

Senate and House members have also raised concerns about the recently announced $1.2 million sale of semi-automatic guns slated for use byTurkish President Erdognan’s security detail, many of whom participated in the May 16th attacks. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Democrat Ben Cardin (D-MD) and House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ed Royce have already objected to the sale.

Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Dave Trott (R-MI) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) are urging colleagues to co-sign a letter to Secretary Tillerson to block the gun sale to Turkey. To contact legislators to cosign the letter, visit: anca.org/NoGunsForTurkey

The June 4 edition of The New York Times featured a two-page center-spread investigative report on the May 16th attack, with online version of the coverage translated to Turkish and shared widely on social media. The report identified Yildirim and Narin as having participated in the attacks.

The ANCA is cited by The New York Times as a source for this report.

The May 16 protest in front of the Turkish Ambassador’s residence was a continuation of a demonstration held earlier in the day in front of the White House, co-hosted by the ANCA. As President Trump met with President Erdogan. human rights and religious rights groups were joined by representatives of the Kurdish, Yezidi and Armenian communities to call attention to the Erdogan regime’s escalating repression against free press, the Kurdish and other ethnic communities, as well as Turkey’s ongoing obstruction of justice for the Armenian Genocide.

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5 Comments

  1. Norin said:

    Now that criminal charges have been filed and some arrests made. It’s time for further punishment in civil litigation for pain/suffering and medical expenses these victims received. The Armenian Bar Association needs to step it up on ALL of these goons and file civil monetary claims for damages in behalf of all the victims. Drag them through the court system until they cough blood make the. Pay pay pay!

  2. State of Emergency said:

    Without official condemnation from both the White House and State Department nothing will ever happen to these goons. At best they’ll be reprimanded and everything will be swept under the Turkish rug. Otherwise, Turkey will threaten closer ties with Russia and the whole thing will be called off. Anyway, it won’t even get to that critical point because the powers that be will use their leverage to silence the matter sooner or later.

  3. State of Emergency said:

    The curious thing is that Erdogan himself is not mentioned in the complaints as the person responsible for the attacks. These nobody goons are just yes-man. The main culprit must be apprehended and charged with a felony crime. And what if these goons are not turned over, is Interpol going to get involved or are there going to be economical sanctions imposed on their country until they cooperate by turning them over?

  4. Tigran said:

    Civil suits need to be lodged against all these Turks, no matter where they reside.
    That includes Erdogan and the Turkish ambassador.

  5. Gerald Gardner, Memphis TN said:

    I was visiting my Nations Capital and by bad luck, I was in that dreadful neighborhood. I was so shocked when I came to witness foreign looking security officials attack civilians in a protest rally.
    Later on, after things settled down, I got the details of the attackers and the civilians. Being a history professor specializing in Middle East, I was vey disturbed. Turkey was a country I never liked by just instinct, and my feelings got much worse. I thought: Violent people in history, with their offspring “visiting” my country, not much different from their grandparents. Criminals breed criminals came to my mind. Since I visit Washington frequently, I hope I will never see those faces again.
    P.S. I do not have Armenian friends or Armenian people I know in my state. I read many publications printed in English related to Middle Eastern countries due to my profession.

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