Spokesperson says Erdoğan did not claim Trump apologized for Washington brawl

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Turkish President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and US President Donald Trump (2 L) chat each other during a dinner hosted by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres (not seen) within the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, United States on September 19, 2017. AFP

Turkish Presidency Spokesman İbrahim Kalın said on Thursday that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan did not claim that US President Donald Trump apologized to him over a brawl involving his security detail in Washington in May.

In a tweet from his personal Twitter account, Kalın said: “President Erdoğan didn’t say President Trump ‘apologized’ to him but that he was ‘saddened by’ what happened. This is the correct translation.

Erdoğan’s remarks came in an interview with PBS on Monday during his visit to the US to attend the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

Upon a question concerning the incident in Washington in May, Erdoğan was interpreted by PBS as having said Trump called him about a week ago about this issue and that “he said that he was sorry” and that he was going to “follow up on this issue” when Erdoğan came to the US for an official visit.

On May 16, members of President Erdoğan’s security detail took part in a violent brawl with a group of protesters outside the residence of the Turkish ambassador in Washington and at least 11 protesters were injured.

According to a Guardian daily report, however, an official from the White House said Trump did not tell Erdoğan he was sorry although they discussed several other issues. A White House official told the Guardian, “They discussed a wide range of issues but there was no apology.”

Separately, since the airing of the interview, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told Mike Warren of the Weekly Standard that Erdoğan’s claim on Trump’s phone call apology was “not true.”

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