Two men pleaded guilty on Thursday to felony assault in a street brawl in May near the Turkish embassy in Washington during a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the US Justice Department said.
Sinan Narin, 45, of McLean, Virginia, and Eyup Yildirim, 50, of Manchester, New Jersey, each pleaded guilty to one count of assault in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Prosecutors said Narin, who was employed as a limousine driver and was not associated with Turkish security personnel, was captured on video kicking a protester who suffered a concussion.
Yildirim was also captured on video kicking another protester, prosecutors said. That protester also suffered a concussion and needed five stitches. He is also not associated with Turkish security personnel, the Justice Department said.
Sentencing for the two – both US citizens – is scheduled for 15 March, according to a spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office for Washington DC.
The 16 May clash between Turkish security personnel and demonstrators protesting against Erdogan’s government strained relations between Ankara and Washington. Eleven people were hurt.
According to plea deals released by the Justice Department on Thursday, a pro-Erdogan crowd that day “outnumbered the protesters by at least two to one”.
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Featured image courtesy of AP