Active Alerts


Editorial: No immunity for Turkish goons

The Turkish goons who were responsible for bloodying at least 11 people, including a police officer and two Secret Service agents, during a melee outside of the Washington, D.C., home of Turkey’s ambassador to the U.S. on Tuesday should be prosecuted to the full extent of American law and then booted out of this country.

 

Such violence is never an appropriate response to free speech and peaceful protest. The hard line that the Trump administration has wanted to apply to peace-loving immigrants who are in this country illegally must apply to visitors who wantonly break this nation’s laws. Any claims of diplomatic immunity must not apply.


See Also


Many Americans were outraged over the videos that appeared to show bodyguards of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, cracking heads to break up a protest outside the Turkist ambassador’s residence in Washington.

The violence broke out only hours after President Trump met with his Turkish counterpart at the White House.

“We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America,” said Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who chairs the Armed Services Committee. After seeing videos of these well-dressed thugs in suits viciously beating multiple people, and then throwing them to the ground and kicking them, most people probably share the senator’s sentiments.

This goon squad, according to published reports, contained members of Mr. Erdogan’s security deal. Several of them were detained on the scene by law enforcement, but were released from custody after they claimed diplomatic immunity.

Mr. Erdogan is in Washington on an official state visit. The Turkish president is on the hot seat in his own country and has been the target of radical extremists who oppose his county’s alignment with the West in battling ISIS and Muslim terrorists.

While it’s understandable that his security detail might over-react if it perceived a serious threat to Mr. Erdogan’s safety that doesn’t excuse criminal acts.

The violence came after several hours of peaceful protest staged by a coalition of groups who oppose Mr. Erdogan’s policies on a range of issues, from his government’s stance toward the Kurds and Armenians to his perceived assault on the country’s democratic institutions, including the press.

Anti-Turkey demonstrations are becoming more common in cities around the world, posing additional security threats.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Embassy blamed the violence on the demonstrators, saying they were “aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president.” That statement is in direct contrast to D.C. police reports that said Turkish security personnel aggressively pushed their way past police officers who were desperately trying to keep everyone safe.

This is a ticklish international situation that will put Mr. Trump’s diplomatic skills to the test. Turkey has been a valuable ally in the ongoing fight against Muslim terrorists. So have the Kurds. The Trump administration has announced plans to arm Kurdish Syrian militants fighting ISIS despite intense opposition from Turkey, which considers the Kurds as terrorists.

Most Americans can probably understand and appreciate the complexity of this matter. But they equally can understand that choking women and kicking defenseless people who are on the ground are criminal acts that cannot be tolerated, especially when it’s used to violate free speech rights. These goons must not be able to wrap themselves in the cloak of diplomatic immunity.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he wants “people prosecuted.”

“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 Mr. Graham, the GOP chairman of the Senate subcommittee that controls the foreign affairs budget.

The senator is right. Turkey should apologize and take its brand of heavy-handed security back to Ankara. Maybe Mr. Trump should consider building a wall around the Turkish ambassador’s home in Washington where the real trouble seems to be, not along the U.S.-Mexican border.

NORMAN RAVITCH 3 days ago
The goons already flew home!  After 9/11 the Bushes allowed suspects to fly back to Saudi Arabia; the Bushes have too many financial involvements with the Saudis to want to cause trouble.  If you think Trump has problems with the Russians look at the Bushes.

More

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 9:53am

Letters to the editor Monday

Around the Web