Remember the violent melee that broke out near the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C. last month? A group of people, some of whom appeared to be security for President Erdogan, beat up protesters while Erdogan watched from his car. Today, two of the thugs involved in the melee have been arrested. From the Associated Press:
The Metropolitan Police Department said in a brief statement that Sinan Narin had been arrested in Virginia on an aggravated assault charge. It said Eyup Yildirim had been arrested in New Jersey on charges of assault with significant bodily injury and aggravated assault…
Narin and Yildirim were both participants in the protests, according to a U.S. official familiar with the case. On the day of the violence, police detained two members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail but released them shortly afterward. Two other men were arrested at the scene — one for aggravated assault and the other for assaulting a police officer.
The U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly to the matter and demanded anonymity, said DC police had identified 34 of 42 people who were involved in the fight, and are seeking their arrests. Police are expected to release photos of the other 8 possible suspects and appeal to the public for information on their identities, the official said.
The best analysis of the fighting is this one by the New York Times. The Times specifically identified Sinan Narin’s role in the melee:
Mr. Narin, who owns a property in Virginia, said protesters ripped his shirt and threw bottles at him. “The fight started with me,” Mr. Narin wrote in Turkish on Facebook.
He posted video to Facebook that shows his shirt ripped and his face bloodied, matching footage taken from farther away.
After the fight grew, Mr. Narin followed security guards and repeatedly kicked one protester, Ms. Usoyan, on the ground. A Washington officer then escorted him back across the street.
In an interview, Mr. Narin acknowledged kicking the woman on the ground. “I wasn’t paying attention,” he said. “I thought it was a man. I would never kick a woman.”
Tell it to the judge, pal. Meanwhile, Eyup Yildirim was also identified by the Times as the man seen kicking the same woman:
A third man, Eyup Yildirim, is seen on video telling police he is a cousin of Alpkenan Dereci. “I’m an American citizen and a taxpayer,” he said. He repeatedly kicked Ms. Usoyan, 34, as she lay on the ground. According to New Jersey records, Mr. Yildirim is 50 and manages three companies in that state.
Here’s a video of the violence. Click over to the Times’ story if you want to see what each of these guys looks like: