Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Qs & As w/the Spox of the State Dept on #Turkey #Gulen #Coup

Thursday, January 16, 2014


QUESTION:  Turkey?

MS. PSAKI:  Okay.

QUESTION:  I have a couple of questions on Turkey.  One of that is the – it has been a month that this corruption case started.  How do you assess the current situation in Turkey now, in general terms?

MS. PSAKI:  In what capacity?

QUESTION:  Whether the country is stable.

Is Turkey Stable? Spox Psaki doesn't respond the question:

MS. PSAKI:  Well, I mean, I think we’ve stated many times, but I am happy to reiterate it today, we continue to follow the ongoing corruption investigations in Turkey.  In our conversations with all stakeholders in Turkey, we continue to make clear that the United States supports the desire of the people of Turkey for a legal system that meets the highest standards of fairness, timeliness, and transparency, where no one is above the law.  We remain in close touch on the ground.  Turkey is a valued ally, a valued NATO ally, a valued partner.  We work closely with them on a range of issues, including Syria, including preparations for the Geneva conference.  So beyond that, I don’t have any new analysis for you.

Ever talked to the Gulen Movement? Respond is 'no comment' - (note that answer is not a 'no')

QUESTION:  When you say you talk to all stakeholders, is the Gulen movement, which is the – accused by the prime minister and the administration as behind these investigations, do you talk to them as well?

MS. PSAKI:  We’ve seen, of course, a lot of reporting about Turkish domestic politics in the wake of the corruption investigations, and we’re not going to comment on those.

QUESTION:  Yesterday, again, the prime minister said that this coup attempt – not about corruption – actually, he said that this is package as corruption, but it’s actually coup.  Do you agree with that?  Have you been updated on these attempts?

MS. PSAKI:  I haven’t seen those.  I know we’re in close touch.  Obviously, we’re not going to get engaged too closely in comments back and forth on the ground.

Is there a coup against the Turkish Adm? No Respond

QUESTION:  Do you think there is a coup attempt against your ally in Turkey?

MS. PSAKI:  I just don’t have anything further for you on those comments, which I’m happy to take a closer look at.

Al Qaida Raids in Turkey

QUESTION:  Last couple days, Turkish security forces have been raiding some IHH offices, and today, just according to reports, there are about dozens or dozen al-Qaida operatives or suspects arrested.  Have you been updated on these issues?

MS. PSAKI:  I would point you to the Government of Turkey.  I can check and see if there’s anything I can read out for all of you about any updates we’ve received.

QUESTION:  What’s your general understanding of the al-Qaida operatives or al-Qaida presence in Turkey?

MS. PSAKI:  I don’t have any particular announcement or analysis on that for you from the podium.

Do we have any more on Turkey?  I assume probably not?  Oh, go ahead.

QUESTION:  I have one more.

MS. PSAKI:  Okay.

Blow to the Separation of Powers? Spox will check on that

QUESTION:  Today, it has been about – there have been about half a dozen warning came out of the European Union, and today, also Council of European Commissioner on Human Rights said that this new judicial bill at the parliament undermining the public’s confidence in the judiciary.  Do you have any take on that?

MS. PSAKI:  I think I would just point you to the comments I’ve made and the comments and the analysis that we put out every year when we put out our own reports and analysis on those issues.

QUESTION:  This obviously new development just happened last couple days.  So my question is that – do you think this bill being discussed at the parliament is a blow to separation of powers in Turkey?

MS. PSAKI:  I don’t have any analysis on it for you, but I’m happy to check and see if we’d like to add anything.

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