Tuesday, June 03, 2014

State Dept. Spox Marie Harf on Ivan Watson's being undercover agent

Daily Press Briefing Index
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
2:24 p.m. EDT
Briefer: Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson
QUESTION:  Turkey. 

MS. HARF:  Uh-huh.

QUESTION:  Thank you.  I got quick couple questions.  One is that there were protests over the weekend for the anniversary of Gezi protests and the security forces respond to them.  Do you have any comment on that?

MS. HARF:  Let me see what I have on that.  I think probably not anything else than Jen said yesterday.  Closely monitored events over the weekend.  We are concerned in some instances authorities detained peaceful protesters and prevented others from participating in peaceful demonstrations as well.

QUESTION:  Today, Prime Minister Erdogan, referencing CNN International’s Chief Turkey Correspondent Ivan Watson, he said that those don’t have anything to do with independent and impartial media.  They have been given tasks.  They are agents.  Do you have undercover agents in Turkey?

MS. HARF:  I can let CNN – Elise defend CNN if she wants to.  I would say that they’re nothing except for independent and non-biased media.  Look, we strongly support freedom of the press in Turkey, including Ivan Watson from CNN being able to report, and have continued to raise our concerns.

QUESTION:  So apparently Prime Minister Erdogan, leader of country accusing that he’s an undercover agent.

MS. HARF:  It’s a ridiculous accusation.

QUESTION:  On India?

QUESTION:  (Off-mike.)

MS. HARF:  Let’s go to Lucas and then – on India – then Scott.  Elise, anything else on CNN?  No?

QUESTION:  I have nothing for you on that.  (Laughter.) 

QUESTION:  Love it, Elise. 

MS. HARF:  Will you take the question, though?

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