House Votes to Condemn Turkish Security Officers' Attack on Embassy Protesters

Jun 06, 2017

The House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning the violence that took place a month ago against protesters outside the Turkish embassy in Washington D.C. and urging the Turkish government to take responsibility, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday.

The House voted 397-0 to pass the resolution, according to the Associated Press, although over 30 members did not cast votes.

"The blame for this assault lies with the Turkish government alone. I urge Istanbul to finally accept responsibility for this egregious incident and apologize to those who were harmed," Ryan said in a statement. "Our resolve to defend the First Amendment and condemn suppression is stronger than ever.”

Turkish security officers were videotaped hitting and kicking protesters outside the Turkish embassy this past May, during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to the White House. Nine people were injured and two were arrested, according to the Associated Press.

"This is the United States of America. We do not do this here. There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior," Senator John McCain wrote on Twitter the day after the protests.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last month that the State Department was investigating the incident and had expressed "dismay" to the Turkish government. Two members of Erdogan's security detail were detained after the violence, but ultimately released and allowed to return to Turkey with him, the AP reports.

The resolution demands that those who incited violence against the protesters are held accountable, and that measures are implemented to prevent another incident from occurring, including a State Department review of its own security procedures.

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