Tuesday, September 08, 2015

US: AKP Policies don't comport with their own constitution

Briefer: John Kirby, Spokesperson

(Reds were asked by other reporters)

US: AKP members encouraged protests against Hurriyet
QUESTION: Over the weekend, one of the largest newspaper headquarters in Turkey was attacked by the government supporters and organized by AKP deputy. U.S. embassy in Ankara sent a tweet or two, but I was wondering if you have anything more than a tweet.
MR KIRBY: Well, we’ve seen the reports, obviously, and we call on Turkey to respect the media freedoms and due process protections that are enshrined in the Turkish constitution. They are key elements in every healthy democracy. We’re concerned by reports that the protests against the Hurriyet Daily were encouraged by members of the Justice and Development Party. Elected officials must be careful not to appear to encourage violence against media outlets.

US: The quality of Turkey's democracy matters
QUESTION: One of the Vice reporters, the third one, is still in the custody over two weeks now. And another foreign journalist just detained for over two days, I believe. I was wondering if the U.S. Government is worried or have some increased concerns over the crackdown on the press freedom in Turkey.
MR KIRBY: We have consistent concerns about press freedoms around the world. And as I just said, we’ve expressed our concerns about this most recent incident against Hurriyet. Look, the quality of Turkey’s democracy matters to us, and we expect Turkish authorities to uphold Turkey’s core values, democratic foundations, and universally recognized fundamental freedoms. And that’s a point that we make all around the world, and we will continue to do so.

US: Real time talking: We are making our points clear to Turkey
QUESTION: The final one: Have you asked this to Turkish Government, this specific Hurriyet event or the recent tactic?
MR KIRBY: Well, we don’t – as you know, we don’t talk about the specifics of our diplomatic conversations. But since I’m talking to you here at the podium in real time, I think it’s safe to say that we’re making our points clear candidly and openly.

US Spox: No grading for Turkish democracy
QUESTION: Now, you said the quality of Turkey’s democracy matters to us? 
QUESTION: How would you rate that quality right now?
MR KIRBY: I’m not in a position to judge it. I’d be --

QUESTION: Well, then how can you say it matters to us --
MR KIRBY: It does matter to us. It does matter to us, and --
QUESTION: -- if you’re not prepared to make a – well, is it poor, fair, excellent --
MR KIRBY: I’m not getting – I’m not -- 

QUESTION: Grade A, grade --
QUESTION: Well, but I mean, just – why don’t you look at your previous comments and acknowledge that they have not been so positive lately?
MR KIRBY: I have said that, Elise. We’ve noted that there’s been challenges there and we note that publicly. We’re candid about that.
QUESTION: So would you say --
MR KIRBY: But I’m not going to give them a grade.

QUESTION: -- less than perfect? What kind of I mean, you say that the quality matters to you.
MR KIRBY: We recognize that there are still there are actions -- 

AKP Policies don't comport w their own constitution
QUESTION: Well, you’ve pretty much said yourself that that’s a poor quality.
MR KIRBY: There are actions that they are taking which in our view don’t comport with their own core values as mentioned in their own constitution. Thank you, though, Matt. 

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