Friday, January 24, 2014

My Qs & As w /State Dept Spox corruption, coup, Gulen Mov

Marie Harf
Deputy Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
January 23, 2014

QUESTION: Turkey. I asked a couple of questions last week. Just to follow up those questions. First, how do you view the current unfolding corruption case in Turkey? It has been five weeks now.
MS. HARF: Well, we’ve been following Turkish domestic developments in the wake of the corruption investigations. As we’ve said repeatedly and I will repeat again today, we are not going to comment on those investigations beyond reiterating our support for the strong desire of Turkey’s citizens to see all investigations conducted in a fair, transparent, and democratic manner. I think as you heard the Secretary say earlier this week, the United States is not and will not become involved in Turkey’s domestic politics. I think we’ll leave it up to them to have those conversations.
QUESTION: Last week I again asked whether the Prime Minister Erdogan has been – and the government has been arguing that there’s a coup attempt and this has nothing to do with the corruption. What’s your take on that?
MS. HARF: Again, we’re following the developments domestically in Turkey and are just not going to get involved in Turkey’s domestic situation or do any analysis of it from here.
QUESTION: The government accuses the Gulen Movement – it is an Islamic movement and they accuse that they are behind these cases. First of all, what do you know about the Gulen Movement? What’s your assessment about that?
MS. HARF: I think, as Jen said, we’re not going to do an assessment on an internal Turkish domestic matter. Obviously, we’re in contact with the Turkish Government on a range of issues, but we’re just not going to do more of an assessment of this group that you’ve asked about, I think, than that.
QUESTION: There is a judicial bill at the parliament currently being discussed. It has been criticized by the EU many, many times. Do you think this bill, if it passes the parliament, would be – would damage the separation of powers in Turkey?
MS. HARF: What bill are you asking about? I’m sorry. What specific bill?
QUESTION: It’s judges and prosecutors. It’s about the judges and prosecutors council. It changes the structure. I’m, again, just follow up this question from last week.
MS. HARF: Yeah. Again, I hate to sound like a broken record, but these are all internal Turkish domestic issues, and it’s just not our position to take a position on them one way or the other.

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