Erdogan slams US move to issue warrants for bodyguards

Fri 16 June 2017 05:04 GMT | 09:04 Local Time

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Turkish president: 'If my bodyguards cannot protect me then why am I bringing them to America with me?'

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized the U.S. move to issue arrest warrants for 12 of his bodyguards allegedly linked with a brawl outside the Turkish embassy in Washington, according to Anadolu Agency.

Several people were injured when a brawl broke outside Turkey's Washington embassy during Erdogan’s visit to the U.S. in May. Washington D.C. police reportedly obtained the arrest warrants for the Turkish president's bodyguards on Thursday.

Speaking at an iftar in the capital Ankara on Thursday, Erdogan said: "They have issued arrest warrants for 12 of my bodyguards. What kind of law is this?

"If my bodyguards cannot protect me then why am I bringing them to America with me?" Erdogan said.

The president explained that PKK terrorists and members of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) were united in protest against him at a short distance of 40-50 meters from where he was with his bodyguards.

"The US police is doing nothing. Can you imagine what the response would have been if a similar incident had taken place in Turkey?" Erdogan added.

According to the Turkish government, FETO and its U.S.-based leader Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

On the other hand, more than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015.

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