Europe

Turkey accuses US of 'aggressive actions' over brawl

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Media captionProtesters injured outside Turkish embassy in Washington

Turkey has blamed US officials for "aggressive and unprofessional actions" and "security lapses" during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit last week.

The Turkish foreign minister said it had summoned the US ambassador, John Bass, and asked for an investigation.

During the key visit, a brawl erupted between protesters and Turkish security personnel, injuring 11 people.

Police called it a "brutal attack" on protesters, but Turkey blamed the violence on pro-Kurdish demonstrators.

Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said "the conduct of Turkish security personnel... was deeply disturbing".

"The State Department has raised its concerns about those events at the highest levels," she added.

The incident happened on Tuesday outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington, hours after Mr Erdogan met US President Donald Trump.

Video footage of the clash showed men in suits charging past police to kick and punch protesters.

"A written and verbal protest was delivered due to the aggressive and unprofessional actions taken, contrary to diplomatic rules and practices, by US security personnel," the Turkish foreign minister said in a statement.

The "lapses of security", it added, "were caused by the inability of US authorities to take sufficient precautions at every stage of the official programme".

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Media captionInside President Erdogan's US visit that turned violent

US officials have already summoned the Turkish ambassador over the violence, which was described by Washington police as a "brutal attack on peaceful protesters".

But the Turkish embassy said the demonstrators were linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and had aggressively provoked Turkish-Americans gathering to greet the president. They in turn had acted in self-defence.

The incident drew an outcry among US lawmakers, and Senator John McCain called for the Turkish envoy to be expelled.

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