Erdogan congratulates Buhari for recovering from illness

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Many Europeans have been detained in Turkey over the past year, accused of involvement in last year's coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom many accuse of purging opposition under the cover of a crackdown.

"This is a complete scandal", Erdogan told reporters on Friday morning. Several face additional charges of assault with a deadly weapon. The arrested men are due to appear in court for trial on 7 September. In December, EU member states agreed that no new chapters relating to Turkey's accession into the EU would be opened until Ankara reversed course.

The brawl on 16 May threatened to further strain relations between the two Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) allies who are already at odds over handling of the political and social crisis in Syria.

U.S. authorities indicted 19 people, including 15 Turkish security officials, "on a charge of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, with a bias crime enhancement", according to a District of Columbia Attorney's Office statement on Thursday. The Department of State summoned Turkey's ambassador to complain.

The Turkish foreign ministry said the brawl was caused by the failure of local security to take necessary measures, and that the incident would not have occurred if U.S. authorities had taken the usual measures they take during similar high-level visits.

Mr. Erdogan and his aides regard the Syrian Kurds as enemies due to their links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, the main Kurdish militant group in Turkey, also known as the P.K.K.

Erdogan called the indictment "a clear and scandalous expression of how justice works in America", adding that he would discuss the issue with U.S. President Donald Trump during a trip to NY this month.

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"These developments in the United States are not good at all".

"The United States is still a country where the FETO gang is being protected", Erdogan said.

He remains in the USA under self-imposed exile in a secluded compound in the state of Pennsylvania.

"[The US] does not tolerate individuals who use intimidation and violence to stifle freedom of speech", he said in a statement.

Relations have become increasingly strained between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in the wake of the failed coup attempt in Turkey a year ago.

Germany has rejected a formal request from Turkey to freeze assets of members of the network of USA -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of orchestrating last year's failed coup, Germany's Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday.