Sinan Narin and Eyup Yildirim, two US citizens of Turkish origin pleaded guilty to attack people protesting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the latter’s visit to the Turkish embassy in Washington.
The US Justice Department said Thursday that the pair pleaded guilty to one count of assault in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Members of Erdoğan’s security detail as well as others engaged in a violent brawl with a group of protesters outside the residence of the Turkish ambassador in Washington while Erdoğan was paying an official visit to the country. At least 11 protesters were injured.
Arrest warrants were issued in June for 16 people including 12 members of Erdoğan’s security detail for the attack.
Under arrest since June as part of the US investigation into the brawl, Narin and Yildirim have received frequent visits from their lawyers, consular officials and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Erdoğan later slammed the US decision to issue arrest warrants for his bodyguards and said he would initiate a political and legal battle against the arrest warrants for his security personnel.