ANKARA

Turkey’s deputy foreign minister on Friday welcomed the arrest of a suspect behind an attack on a Turkish restaurant in the US state of California.

“We welcome the arrest of the ringleader of the Armenian group that perpetrated a barbarous attack against #IstanbulCafe in Beverly Hills. We are concerned by these acts,” Yavuz Selim Kiran said on Twitter.

The hate crimes “aimed at poisoning communities” can be prevented by tightening judicial and legal measures, Kiran added.

On the evening of Nov. 4, a group of six to eight men entered the Cafe Istanbul restaurant located in Beverly Hills in the Los Angeles metro area, made pro-Armenia comments, destroyed property and physically attacked its employees.

William Stepanyan, a Glendale city resident, was arrested Thursday morning there, said the police department.

The 22-year-old is currently being held without bail at the police department and will appear on Nov. 16 at the Airport Courthouse.

The attack sparked anger and condemnation last week, with Beverly Hills Mayor Lester Friedman calling the assault an “unacceptable act of hate and violence.”

“There is no place in our city for this behavior and we ask members of the public to please come forward with any information on the suspects in this case,” said Friedman.

The Los Angeles branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) also condemned the attack and expressed its sympathies to the owners and patrons of the restaurant.

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