His security detail scuffled with demonstrators as well as members of the press outside the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C.in March 2016.
The State Department also said that acting Deputy Secretary of State Tom Shannon spoke with Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kilic about the fighting that left at least nine injured, including a DC police officer. Video shows men wearing dark suits and others hitting and kicking protesters. According to two people with direct knowledge of the case who spoke to The Washington Post, D.C. police are trying to obtain arrest warrants for Erdogan guards they identify on video.
The meeting of the Turkish envoy and the U.S. official took place at the State Department on Wednesday, and comes amid an outcry among USA lawmakers.
The State Department condemned the attack Wednesday, and police in the nation's capital said they were working to identify the assailants, some of whom were armed.
"We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms", said Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman told the New York Times. "They stopped us for a few minutes ... but we still stayed and continued to protest Erdogan's tyrannical regime".
"These are not just average people at this", McCain said about the bodyguards. "And I thought, 'okay I'm on the ground already, what is the objective to beat me?'"
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The statement added that, "Turkey is a key NATO Ally that faces legitimate domestic security concerns emanating from ISIS, PKK, and other designated terrorist organizations".
The violence broke out after Erdogan returned to the embassy after meeting with US President Donald Trump yesterday. The statement said that the US communicated its concerns to the Turkish government "in the strongest possible terms".
And Erdogan, speaking in Istanbul two days after meeting Trump, said he was putting Washington on notice that his forces won't hesitate to attack US -backed Kurds if they threaten Turkey.
The incident happened in front of the Turkish ambassador's residence.
Sen. John McCain also chimed in, calling for the Turkish ambassador to be removed from the U.S. During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" talk show, McCain said that "we should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America".
Lawmakers have decried what they saw as Erdogan's attitude toward dissent making its way from the Mediterranean to America. "It is another thing for us, as Americans, to see that exported to the United States", Hamparian said.