Turkey has blasted a U.S. court decision to indict 19 people, including 15 Turkish security officials, accused of assaulting protesters during a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Washington in May, The Associated Press reports.
The statement made by the Turkish Foreign Ministry follows Tuesday’s grand jury decision in Washington to charge the defendants with attacking peaceful demonstrators during Erdogan’s visit.
A total of 19 people were identified from video footage of the May 16 clashes with Kurdish protesters outside the residence of Turkey’s ambassador, following a meeting between Erdogan and President Donald Trump.
Turkish officials claim that security outside the ambassador’s home was negligent and didn’t ensure the safety of Erdogan’s entourage amid sympathizers of an outlawed Kurdish militant group.
According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the indictment has also accused people who have never been to the U.S.
The clashes during Erdogan’s visit worsened tensions between the NATO allies, with the Turkish leader accusing U.S. police of having allowed “terrorists” to protest “50 metres from him”, AFP reports.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry also repeated its claims the protesters were supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is seen as an insurgent group in Turkey since 1984.