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Turkey Protests 'Biased' U.S. Charges Against Erdogan Bodyguards

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (c) watching the brawl in Washington

Turkey's foreign ministry on August 30 protested against what it called "biased" charges by U.S. prosecutors against 15 members of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail following a brawl in Washington in May.

The 15 Turkish security officers were among 19 people that U.S. prosecutors said were indicted by a grand jury in connection with the May 16 fight that broke out between protesters and Erdogan's detail outside the Turkish ambassador's residence.

"We protest in the strongest terms that such an unjust and biased indictment, with names of people that have never been to the U.S., has been accepted," the Turkish ministry said, adding that its concerns were "conveyed to the U.S. ambassador to Ankara."

The indictment charges the bodyguards and other unnamed individuals with committing violence during what Washington police described as a peaceful demonstration against Erdogan after he returned from a visit with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House.

Turkey has contended that the demonstrators were members of an outlawed Kurdish militant group and the bodyguards were protecting Erdogan.

The ministry said Turkey would fight the "unfounded" charges through the legal system.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters