The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it will not hear the Republic of Turkey's bid to overturn the D.C. Circuit's holding that it was not immune to civil claims over the alleged assault of anti-government protesters during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 2017 visit to Washington, D.C.
Turkey had asked the high court to reverse a published opinion handed down by the D.C. Circuit in July 2021 that found that a provision of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act did not shield a Turkish security team from claims it violently attacked Lusik Usoyan and other protesters on a public sidewalk outside the Turkish ambassador's residence, causing concussions, seizures and lost teeth.
The court, as is customary, did not provide reasoning for denying the petition for certiorari.
An attorney for the protestors, Agnieszka Fryszman, told Law360 on Monday that she was pleased the D.C. Circuit's opinion will stand.
"The District Court has already ordered Turkey to begin participating in discovery, so we plan to move forward without delay to get justice for our clients, including senior citizens, students and a young child with her parents, who were protesting human rights abuses by the Erdogan regime when they were savagely attacked and badly injured by Turkey's security personnel," she said. "Turkey's argument that it should be immune from the attack by its security personnel on peaceful protestors has now been rejected at every level of the U.S. court system, and it's time for Turkey to be held to account."
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