Erdogan bans US officials from entering Turkey

Written by By Pasha Protasova, CNN Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has given diplomatic backing to Thursday’s violence at one of Istanbul’s main train stations, restricting access to Turkish ambassadors abroad and freezing negotiations…

Erdogan bans US officials from entering Turkey

Written by By Pasha Protasova, CNN

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has given diplomatic backing to Thursday’s violence at one of Istanbul’s main train stations, restricting access to Turkish ambassadors abroad and freezing negotiations with the US, the BBC reports.

Erdogan also accused Turkey’s US embassy staff of posing a security threat to the consulate in Istanbul where the violent protest took place on Wednesday night. Nine people were killed in the clashes.

Hours later, Erdogan issued a direct “travel ban” for the entire US embassy staff to Turkey, according to CNN.

Protests began in early-morning Istanbul after Saudi Arabia executed a Saudi Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Turkey has its own large Shia population.

Hundreds of men, many of them masked, were beaten and thrown into the air outside the American consulate in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. Reuters witnessed the attackers attempting to free hostages.

But it was the clashes between people trying to enter the US embassy that got the most media attention.

Armed assailants had opened fire on police outside the building in the early afternoon.

Images show the building shuttered, including a metal gate ringed with yellow tape.

Bridges linking Taksim Square to the embassy were also closed Thursday.

The Erdogan Administration in Ankara has accused the US of allowing security at the embassy to deteriorate in recent years, according to Anatolia news agency.

But these allegations have not been independently verified.

The Turkish police were criticized for placing their hands on protesters who were throwing missiles at them, including car tires.

CNN’s Hasnain Malik contributed to this report.

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