In US Two Erdogan security aides plead innocent in protest melee

Two men videotaped taking part in an attack on protestors against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington in May pleaded innocent Thursday to assault charges.

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Police secure the street outside the Turkish embassy in Washington during a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 16, 2017, following an attack on protestors by members of Erdogan's security detail. play

Police secure the street outside the Turkish embassy in Washington during a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 16, 2017, following an attack on protestors by members of Erdogan's security detail.

(AFP/File)
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Two men videotaped taking part in an attack on protestors against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington in May pleaded innocent Thursday to assault charges.

The two, Turkish-Americans Sinan Narin and Eyup Yildirim, are among 19 members of a security detail for Erdogan during a White House visit that have been indicted in the May 16 attack.

The 19 were identified from detailed video footage of the daylight assault on Kurdish and Armenian protesters outside the residence of Turkey's ambassador, following a meeting between Erdogan and President Donald Trump.

The protestors were beaten and kicked, with a number taken to the hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

Arrested in June, Narin and Yildirim were charged with beating and kicking several specific demonstrators, causing one of them to lose consciousness.

In a brief court hearing Thursday, a lawyer for the two said both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Narin and Yildirim are the only two arrested in the case. The other 17, two Turkish Canadians and 15 Turkish citizens, including top Erdogan bodyguards, remain at large.

On September 1 Erdogan, who labelled the protestors "terrorists," blasted the US indictment of the 19, saying the case was a "scandalous demonstration of how American justice works."

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