U.S. sailors assaulted in Istanbul
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – It’s being called a clear attempt to embarrass the United States through the use of social media.
A YouTube video shows three American sailors being physically and verbally assaulted in Istanbul, Turkey.
Their harassers? Twenty young men associated with a left-wing Turkish political group.
“Go home, Yankee!” was shouted at the three American sailors trying to enjoy the sights of Istanbul after their ship, the USS Ross, docked at a nearby port.
The 20 young men called the sailors ‘killers,’ threw red paint at them, and told them they don’t want them in their country.
While the sailors kept their cool, it was obvious they were shaken up.
The Turkish men continued their physical and verbal barrage when they placed bags over the heads of the sailors, who eventually ran away.
As the sailors ran way, the Turkish men continued to shout, “Go home Yankee!”
Turkish police arrested 17 of the men, identified as members of a group called the Turkish Youth Movement.
The country of Turkey, an American NATO ally, condemned the attack.
SDSU professor Ron Bee, a former Pentagon and State Department employee, said the incident was an attempt to embarrass the United States.
Professor Bee said the placing of bags over the heads of the sailors may have been a symbolic attempt to invoke memories of another sensitive chapter in American History, the Iran Hostage Crisis.
Anti-American sentiment in Turkey is not widespread, but some Turks accuse the U.S. of meddling in foreign affairs.