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State Dept: We will not hesitate to raise our voice if Turkey “crossed a line” on “universal principles”

You’ll have a hard time believing this claim from the U.S. State Department spokesman, who was questioned about the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey’s recent criticism of press freedom in Turkey.  Mind you, there was never a peep from the State Department, when Hrant Dink was being harassed and prosecuted for writing about the Armenian Genocide or persecution of Armenians in Turkey.

Feb. 16, 2011

State Department Holds Regular News Briefing

QUESTION:

On Turkey?
CROWLEY:

Turkey.
QUESTION:

I asked on Monday about the journalist who got detained. Do you have anything on that now?
CROWLEY:

Well, we — we are — we are watching this case very closely. I, you know, I don’t have a particular comment other than to say, you know, we — we do have ongoing concerns about, you know, trends regarding treatment of journalists within Turkey. We’ve raised that with the Turkish government, and will be watching this case very closely.
QUESTION:

So you — you have engaged with the Turkish government so far.
CROWLEY:

I — I don’t know that we have engaged in this particular case, but this — this is an issue that we have raised with Turkey, and we’ll continue to do so.
QUESTION:

U.S. Ambassador in Ankara Ricciardone» gave a couple of statements on the issue I have the quotes on. There was a quite strong reaction from Turkish administration saying that nobody should be interfering with Turkish domestic situation because of ambassador’s statement.
CROWLEY:

Again, obviously, Ambassador «Ricciardone», you know, we — we stand by his statement. But as I say, we — we do have brought concerns about, you know, trends involving intimidation of journalists in Turkey, and we have raised that director with the Turkish government, and we’ll continue to do so.
QUESTION:

Two things real quick, one on Mexico. There were two…

Oh, I’m sorry, please.
QUESTION:

Also, AKP, the vice president of the ruling party, AKP, said that ambassadors have limits, so was «Ricciardone» out of his limits by making that statement?
CROWLEY:

I’m not sure what you — what I — you mean by limits.
QUESTION:

I’m not sure, too. He said ambassadors have limits, so regarding this subject, regarding«Ricciardone»
CROWLEY:

You’re saying that Ambassador «Ricciardone used the term “limits?”
QUESTION:

No, no. Vice president of AKP said…
CROWLEY:

Again, it’s not — it’s not for me to parse the language used by Turkish officials. You know, we stand by the ambassador’s statement.
QUESTION:

There are some strong arguments in Turkey that the U.S. approach so far to Turkish government, strong Turkish government, kind of appeasement policy, to, you know…
CROWLEY:

What kind of policy?
QUESTION:

Appeasement.
CROWLEY:

Appeasement?
QUESTION:

Yes, to Turkish government, not — that’s my — my newspaper’s editorial yesterday…

(LAUGHTER)

… so I’m just covering what — what would be your…
CROWLEY:

Well, I — I — it’s hard for me to put that in context. You know, Turkey is an ally and friend of the United States. But as we’ve made clear, you know, any time that we think that a friend or ally or adversary has crossed a line and — in terms of respect for universal principles, we’ll not hesitate to raise our voice.

This post is made possible due to a mail from ANCA. Thank you!

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