Wednesday, September 07, 2011

September 7, 11, My Qs and As with the State Dpt. Spokesperson Victoria Nuland

Erdogan's Visit to Gaza
QUESTION: First, going back to Palestine, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan plans to go to Egypt next week and also his plans include to visit Gaza from Egypt. Do you have any objections to this plan?
MS. NULAND: I think Turkey knows very well where we are on these issues. It’s obviously a Turkish sovereign decision how it conducts its relationship with the Palestinian authorities.
Press Freedom Issues in Turkey
QUESTION: Had one with Turkey. Reporters Without Borders just published an article about a couple of investigative journalists, Turkish journalists, that arrested six months ago, among others. At the time, I asked question and it was stated that U.S. Government worries about intimidation of Turkey – on the Turkish media. I’m just wondering, within the six months and this – in light of this latest publishing, what’s your view on Turkey in terms of press freedom issues?

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, you know that the United States is a strong defender of freedom of expression around the world, including in Turkey. As recently as mid-July, when the Secretary was in Istanbul, she made clear that we have concerns about press freedom in Turkey, particularly with regard to restrictions on journalists, on bloggers, on the free flow of information on the internet. And as she put it, Turkey is strong enough and vibrant enough as a democracy to allow differences of opinion in the public square, whether online or offline. So we will continue to make our views known to officials in Turkey and to monitor the situation.
QUESTION: Do you have any view on these ongoing trials without starting any kind of trial, actually, just going on – the (inaudible) is going on?
MS. NULAND: Just to say here what we have said to Turkish officials, which is that we believe that any investigations or prosecutions need to proceed in a transparent manner so that all defendants are assured due process in accordance with international standards.

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