Footage has been released showing the tense moment when three U.S. sailors were attacked by a mob of Turkish youth on November 12.
The perpetrators have been identified as members of an ultra-nationalist group called the Turkish Youth Union, or Turkiye Genclik Birligi (TGB). According to the Washington Post, the group’s primary goals are to prevent Turkey from becoming a part of the European Union, and to oppose collaboration with the United States in general.
As reported yesterday by the Inquisitr, the incident took place on a street in Istanbul. The three U.S. sailors–who serve on the destroyer USS Ross–were making a visit to the port city, and were in civilian clothes. The video shows the sailors being approached by the group of about 20 TGB members, who supposedly spotted the Americans disembarking from their ship and started following them. The confrontation escalates as the Turks begin throwing trash at the sailors, followed by grabbing and pushing them. There is also a moment when a man appears to spray paint on one of the sailors.
At one point, one of the TGB members was heard shouting the following at the sailors.
“We define you as murderers, as killers… and we want you to get out of our land.”
Eventually, amid the chanting of anti-American rhetoric, the sailors are restrained and bags are put over their heads. Though the event was terrifying, the Americans were able to get away without being harmed.
Meanwhile, a Turkish newspaper called Hürriyet Daily News reported that 12 Turkish Youth Union members were arrested in connection with the attack. They faced several charges, including insult and violation of public demonstration laws. Apparently, however, the potential suspects were released before any statements were taken from them.
Both the U.S. and Turkey — who have a history of close and friendly ties in the region — have promised to work together to investigate the attack. However, the two allies have been butting heads lately when it comes to U.S. foreign policy, in connection with the handling of issues related to the Islamic State.
The U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa released a statement that said the following.
“The U.S. Navy is currently working with the Turkish National Police and U.S. Embassy staff to investigate this incident… The U.S. Navy will continue to coordinate with Turkish authorities to review security procedures for future ship visits.”
What do you think of the footage depicting the attack on U.S. sailors? What do you think the response should be from the U.S. government?
[Image via Daily Mirror and ABC News]