Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Turkey demands US replace envoy in spat over Syrian Kurds

Turkey calls for ouster of US envoy for anti-IS coalition Turkey calls for ouster of US envoy for anti-IS coalition
Melinda Barton | 19 May, 2017, 05:18

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said McGurk has done "tremendous work" in coordinating and leading the global coalition against IS, and has the support of the White House and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. "The State Department has raised its concerns about these events at the highest levels and a thorough investigation that will allow us to hold the responsible individuals accountable is of the utmost importance to us".

Erdogan met Trump at the White House on Tuesday, with the two leaders pledging to improve ties between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies - even as Erdogan gave a stern warning about Washington's arming of Kurdish militia in Syria. Nine people received hospital treatment after the incident on Tuesday.

And Erdogan, speaking in Istanbul two days after meeting Trump, said he was putting Washington on notice that his forces won't hesitate to attack US -backed Kurds if they threaten Turkey.

"If there were any Turkish Embassy officials involved in beating up these protesters, I will call for them to be removed from the country", said Graham, the GOP chairman of the Senate subcommittee that controls the foreign affairs budget.

Several other Senate Republicans, including Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, called on the Turkish government to immediately apologize for the violence. Video shows people pushing past police to confront a small group of protesters across the street in Sheridan Circle.

Turkey is frequently ranked as the world's top jailer of journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

"The demonstrators began aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the President".

He said that parts of Turkey's southeast and eastern regions, where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has been fighting a decades-old insurgency, were still flooded with weapons.

The PKK is considered a terror group by the USA and Turkey's Western allies. So this is a reflection as well of the Kurdish diaspora in the United States and elsewhere who have no sympathy for the Turkish president and see him as a threat to their political aspirations.

"It happened really fast", he said, insisting that he was trying to defend himself and to protect a police officer, not attack one. Trump's side responded that US cooperation with the YPG had been "a necessity and not a choice", according to the minister.

United States officials told Ankara that the YPG would not constitute a threat for Turkey and that arms supplied by Washington would be used in Raqa and in the south, not against Turkey, Cavusoglu said. Violence erupted when Turkish security officials and counter-protesters clashed with demonstrators near the ambassador's residence, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stayed after me.