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Two Plead Guilty Over Brawl at Turkish Embassy in Washington

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Demonstration at Turkish Embassy in DC Turns Violent
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Demonstration at Turkish Embassy in DC Turns Violent

Two Turkish-American men have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a brawl at the Turkish Embassy in Washington earlier this year, according to court documents.

Sinan Narin, 45, of Virginia and Eyup Yildirim, 50, of New Jersey "each pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to one count of assault with significant bodily injury. The pleas, which are contingent upon the Court’s approval, call for each defendant to be sentenced to agreed-upon terms of one year and one day of incarceration."

Eighteen people, many of whom were members of the Turkish ambassador's security detail, were indicted for allegedly attacking protesters outside the ambassador's residence on May 16. All 18 were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, a felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison. Several faced additional charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

The brawl took place outside the residence of Turkey's ambassador to Washington shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House.

Video of the protest recorded by VOA's Turkish service shows what appear to be security guards and some Erdogan supporters attacking a small group of demonstrators.

Men in dark suits and others were recorded repeatedly kicking one woman as she was curled up on a sidewalk. Another wrenched a woman's neck and threw her to the ground. A man with a bullhorn was repeatedly kicked in the face.

After police officers struggled to protect the protesters and ordered the attackers to retreat, several suspects dodged the officers and continued the attacks.

The Turkish Embassy claimed that Erdogan's bodyguards were acting in "self-defense" during the incident, and that the protesters were affiliated with the Turkish left wing PKK or Kurdistan Workers' Party.

The PKK has waged a three-decade long insurgency in southeast Turkey.