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Congress, Paul Ryan Condemn Turkish Embassy Clashes

  • VOA News

FILE - House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., departs after speaking to the media after a Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill.

The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday officially condemned the violent crackdown on protests outside the Turkish embassy in Washington last week.

"This timely resolution sends a clear signal to the Turkish government that we will not allow any foreign government to stifle the rights of our citizens," the committee said in a statement following the passage of House Resolution 354, which condemned the violence against what it deemed peaceful protests.

U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan thanked the committee, echoing concerns over the incident that have been expressed by U.S. lawmakers and diplomats for days.

Demonstrators lie on the ground following a brawl with Turkish security personnel near the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington, May 17, 2017. (screengrab from VOA Turkish video)
Demonstrators lie on the ground following a brawl with Turkish security personnel near the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington, May 17, 2017. (screengrab from VOA Turkish video)

“The violent crackdown on peaceful protesters by Turkish security forces was completely indefensible, and the [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan government’s response was wholly inadequate," he said in a statement. "I want to thank Chairman [Ed] Royce, Ranking Member [Eliot] Engel, and all members of the Foreign Affairs Committee for taking swift action on this issue.”

The committee was expected to hold a hearing discussing the right to peaceful protest later Thursday.

The clash broke out between Turkish security personnel and protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence during Erdogan's visit to Washington.

Protesters say they were attacked by Turkish security forces as they demonstrated peacefully. Turkey blamed the clash on the demonstrators, claiming they aggressively provoked people who had gathered to see Erdogan.

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