Three U.S. Navy sailors were assaulted by a mob of youths in Istanbul, Turkey during a routine stop-over. A video of the incident shows the sailors, dressed in civilian clothes, being approached by members of the Turkish Youth Union. One man told the sailors that they were not wanted in their land because they are murderers.
Excuse me. You declare that you are a member of U.S. Army
And now…because we define you as murderers, as killers
We want to, we want you to get out of our land.
The Turkish Youths threw cans of red paint at the sailors before attempting to put bags over the Americans’ heads. The sailors were able to escape from the mob as they chanted “Yankee Go Home!” repeatedly.
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The assault was against sailors from the warship USS Ross that was docked in Istanbul after a NATO training exercise in the Black Sea. The sailors were able to make their way back to their ship unharmed. The rest of the ship’s crew are forbidden from leaving the Ross during the remainder of its stay in Istanbul.
The U.S. Navy issued a statement on this incident that took place on Wednesday, November 12.
An incident took place today involving three U.S. Navy Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71), which is on a scheduled port visit to Istanbul, Turkey.
The incident, which was recorded on video and posted to the internet, shows approximately 20 individuals, claiming to be from the “Turkish Youth Union,” verbally and physically assaulting the Sailors while on liberty in Istanbul.
The Sailors managed to remove themselves from the situation without sustaining injuries and are safely back aboard USS Ross.
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.
We have enjoyed a strong relationship with Turkey for many years. As NATO allies, we share common interests, and this incident will not diminish that strong relationship. Turkish ports have long been very popular destinations for U.S. Navy ships, and our Sailors have enjoyed the warm hospitality that has traditionally been extended.
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Image credit: Video screenshot
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