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US Drops Charges Against Four Defendants in Turkish Embassy Scuffle Featured

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U.S. judges dismissed charges against four Turkish citizens who were indicted over an incident outside the Turkish embassy during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's trip to Washington, a media report said Saturday.

U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia told Ahval it dropped charges against four of the 19 defendants, namely Yusuf Ayar, Feride Kayasan, Hamza Yurteri and Gökhan Yıldırım.

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"The basis of the dismissals is that the evidence was false or non-existent," Günay Evinch, a Washington attorney following the case, was quoted as saying by Ahval.

He also asserted that charges were dropped against five people, rather than four as U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Evinch added that five of Erdoğan's security detail were not present during the scuffle between a group of Turkish citizens and PKK terror group supporters.

According to sources close to the case, the dismissal of charges was kept relatively quiet and was done at a hearing in November.

Evinch also said he could not explain how a federal grand jury indicted the security detail in the first place, adding that it was a sign of politicization of the process.

"The [judiciary] system completely failed here. Law became the child of politics," Evinch said.

Upon the indictment, the Turkish Foreign Ministry also released a statement, calling the decision "biased, unfounded and purely political," and noted that the indictment "included the names of people who have never even been to the United States."

On May 16, the first fight reportedly broke out at the Turkish embassy when supporters of the terrorist group threw water bottles at Turkish citizens, triggering a 10-to-15 second scuffle in the middle of the road. Only two police officers interceded in the fight and it was clear the police were not ready, as there were only around 10 police officers outside the embassy.

Later, when Erdoğan arrived at the embassy building, protesters continued their grave insults, shouted slogans and threw more bottles. The head of the president's security detail stepped in, followed by Turkish citizens who were there to see their president. The pro-PKK protesters dispersed only after security stepped in.

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