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Monday, June 17, 2024

Turkish National Charged with Attack on Turkish Consulate in Manhattan

Two security officers who had been in the Turkish Consulate’s lobby stepped outside of the building. Akbiyik sprinted toward the security officers with the blue metal bar raised as if to strike them.

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Carlos F. Matus, the Director of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (“DSS”), and Keechant L. Sewell, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced that a Complaint was unsealed Tuesday alleging that RECEP AKBIYIK used a metal bar to shatter the glass of 10 windows and two doors of the building housing the Turkish Consulate General in New York, New York (the “Turkish Consulate”).  When two of the Turkish Consulate’s security officers emerged from the building to investigate, AKBIYIK allegedly charged at the security officers with the metal bar and, as the security officers retreated into the building, repeatedly struck the building’s doors with the metal bar.  AKBIYIK was arrested this morning and will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Recep Akbiyik brazenly attacked the Turkish Consulate building, causing serious damage to its windows and doors.  Even worse, Akbiyik allegedly endangered two of the Turkish Consulate’s security officers, nearly beating them with a metal bar.  As these charges make clear, people who attack diplomatic facilities or their employees within the United States will be held accountable for their actions.”

DSS Director Carlos F. Matus said: “The Diplomatic Security Service is firmly committed to working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our other law enforcement partners to investigate allegations of crime related to diplomatic facilities and personnel within the United States, and to bring those who commit these crimes to justice.  This was a great success by all of the agencies involved.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint:

On May 22, 2023, at 3:15 a.m., AKBIYIK used a blue metal bar to shatter approximately 10 of the Turkish Consulate’s windows.

As AKBIYIK shattered the Turkish Consulate’s windows, two security officers who had been in the Turkish Consulate’s lobby stepped outside of the building.  AKBIYIK sprinted toward the security officers with the blue metal bar raised as if to strike them.

As the Security Officers retreated into the Turkish Consulate, pulling its doors closed, AKBIYIK repeatedly struck the Turkish Consulate’s doors with the blue metal bar, breaking the doors’ glass panes. AKBIYIK fled, leaving behind a blue bag containing eight bricks and the blue metal bar.

In a post-arrest interview with NYPD officers, AKBIYIK admitted to the attack on the Turkish Consulate and stated that he had been planning the attack for weeks.

AKBIYIK, 29, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with damaging property occupied by a foreign government, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of DSS and the NYPD and thanked the U.S. Marshals Service and the New York County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance.

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin M. Burkett is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Read more at the Justice Department

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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