US charges against Turkish President guards damaged Turkey-US relations - Turkish official

by The Region   Getty Images  


Charges brought against guards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by the US authorities have seriously damaged Turkish-US relations, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Monday.

In late August, the US government brought charges against 19 people, including 15 officers of the Turkish security services, for attacking participants of a protest rally during Erdogan's visit to Washington in May.

"Many are trying to spoil the relations between Turkey and the United States. They should not be allowed to do this. Unfortunately, the incident with the guards of our president has caused great damage to our relations. Washington has prepared an indictment against 15 security guards, four of whom were not even involved in the incident," Bozdag told reporters.

According to the deputy prime minister, the indictment against Erdogan's guards was based on the testimonies of supporters of the the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

On May 16, Erdogan's security personnel clashed with Kurdish protesters in the vicinity of the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington during the visit of the Turkish president to the United States. At least nine people were injured and two people were arrested during the brawl.

Videos of the incident showed Erdogan's bodyguards hitting and kicking protesters as the president looked on from his car.