US: Two Turks jailed over DC brawl to be freed soon
Two Turkish men involved in a brawl last year with supporters of the PKK terror group while Turkey’s president was visiting the U.S. capital will be released from prison in 10 days, a court said Thursday.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, U.S. lawyer Gunay Evinch, who has followed the case from the beginning, said Sinan Narin, 46, of Virginia and Eyup Yildirim, 51, of New Jersey were sentenced to "a year and a day" with credit for time served after they were arrested on June 15.
Evinch said Narin and Yildirim will also receive two months credit for good behavior, so they will be released in 10 days.
Noting that the U.S. Attorney’s Office dropped five of the six charges against them, Evinch said the accusations would not be provable in court beyond a reasonable doubt.
During the sentencing, DC Superior Court Judge Marisa Demeo acknowledged that Narin was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to his background as a former member of the Turkish Special Forces who lost 20 of his comrades during a battle against the PKK terrorist group and lost control after he saw PKK flags on the day of the incident and was wounded in the face by a water bottle thrown at him.
Demeo also acknowledged that Narin and Yildirim are outstanding citizens with no criminal record and have strong family and community bonds.
Evinch noted that the judge also agreed that Yildirim has absolutely no hatred against Kurds as he and his family are of mixed Turkish and Kurdish heritage.
Yildirim emphasized that he also lost control when Kenan Dereci, his guest from Canada, was hit in the head with a bullhorn thrown by an anti-Erdogan demonstrator.