Tags: Middle East | turkey | sailors | attack

Turkish Thugs Defiant After Attack on American Sailors

By    |   Thursday, 13 November 2014 09:33 PM

Members of the Turkish militant group involved in Wednesday’s videotaped mob assault on three U.S. sailors in Istanbul say they are "proud" of the attack and that they carried it out to show solidarity with Palestinians and Syrians, Fox News reports.

In it, a group of about 20 young men surrounded three U.S. sailors and began taunting and pushing them. They threw red paint on the Americans and put bags over their heads and chased them down the street.

The sailors made it safely back to their ship, the USS Ross, a destroyer, which had been docked in Turkey after a NATO drill in the Black Sea.

The group behind the attack is the Turkish Youth Union, known as the TGB, a left-wing, anti-American nationalist group founded in 2006. It opposes Turkish efforts to join the European Union and rails against what it terms "American imperialism."

It was not the first time that TGB members have harassed NATO soldiers in Turkey. Last year, members of the same group physically confronted German soldiers who had been deployed there with a Patriot missile battery to protect Turkey from attacks from neighboring Syria, CNN reports.

The TGB is virulently opposed to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), even though that Islamist party’s relations with Western governments have been deteriorating.

Turkish police arrested and briefly detained 12 men in connection with Wednesday’s attack. They were later released, although authorities could file charges later.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned the attack, saying it was "in no way tolerable."

Speaking on behalf of the mob that assaulted the sailors, the president of TGB Istanbul said they "were proud to be detained for such a reason." He boasted that the Americans "were afraid," adding: "They should be, because we will not give them a rest."

The act of putting a bag over someone’s head carries special resonance with many Turkish nationalists stemming from a 2003 incident in Sulaymaniya, Iraq, in which soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade arrested a group of Turkish Special Forces soldiers in connection with a plot to assassinate the governor of Kirkuk.

Although they were eventually freed, many Turks were angered by the images of hooded Turkish soldiers being led to interrogation rooms by American troops, and ultranationalist forces have exploited the situation ever since to galvanize anti-U.S. sentiment.

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Members of the Turkish militant group involved in Wednesday’s videotaped mob assault on three U.S. sailors in Istanbul say they are "proud" of the attack and that they carried it out to show solidarity with Palestinians and Syrians, Fox News reports.
turkey, sailors, attack
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2014-33-13
Thursday, 13 November 2014 09:33 PM
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