Three sailors of the U.S. Navy were assaulted and had bags placed over their heads by Turkish citizens during stop in Istanbul, Turkey, reported U.S. military spokesperson.
Turkish news agencies announced that the incident with the 3 American sailors occurred on November 12, 2014 when the three crew members of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross were attached by Turkish Youth Union members.
The plastic bags that were placed over the heads of the U.S. sailors were symbol of a protest against American "imperialism" in the Middle East and other areas, claims a statement posted on the website of the Turkish Youth Union:
"Long live oppressed nation's war against imperialism," the statement said.
The spokesman of the European Command, Capt. Greg Hicks stated:
"U.S. Navy officials are working with the embassy and (Navy investigators) to investigate the incident. The three sailors were unharmed and are safely back aboard. They did not require medical attention."
According to local news agencies, the attackers were non ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) Turkish neo-nationalists, chanting the slogans that include, "Yankee Go Home." As is visible in video tape of the incident, the assailants were carrying Turkish flags and a portrait of the secular founder of the Turkish republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
"The incident does not reflect the hospitality nor the welcome reception our ships receive in port in Turkey," capt. Hicks went to say and also added that other sailors on board the USS Ross were not permitted to leave the ship for the rest of the day.
U.S. Sailors Attacked in Turkey
"The attack is in no way tolerable" stated the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in accordance with the incident.
The United States Embassy in Ankara also posted a statement condemning the attack against the U.S. sailors in their Twitter feed.
"We condemn today's attack in Istanbul, and have no doubt the vast majority of Turks would join us in rejecting an action that so disrespects Turkey's reputation for hospitality," the tweet said.
This occurrence of bags over heads is not random. This is a reference to when soldiers of the Turkish special forces were detained in Northern Iraq in 2003 by U.S. forces, who were suspected in smuggling weapons to a Turkish-backed group in Kirkuk, Iraq.
In that case, the soldiers of the U.S. forces put bags over the heads of Turkish troops while they were in detention, before eventually releasing them back to their NATO ally. This incident became so popular in Turkey that was even made into a movie.