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Statements by U.S. Officials 2011

Spokesman PJ Crowley on Detained Journalists in Turkey

Daily Press Briefing, February 16, 2011

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

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

Question:  So you have engaged with Turkish Government so far?

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

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

Mr. Crowley:  Again, obviously, Ambassador Ricciardone – we stand by his statement.  But as I say, we do have broad concerns about trends involving intimidation of journalists in Turkey, and we have raised that directly with the Turkish Government and we’ll continue to do so.

Question:  Also, AKP -- the vice president of ruling party AKP said that ambassadors has limits, so was Ricciardone out of his limits by having such a statement?

Mr. Crowley:  I’m not sure what you mean by limits. 

Question:  I’m not sure, too.  He said ambassadors have limits.  So regarding this subject, regarding Ricciardone’s --

Mr. Crowley:  You’re saying that Ambassador Ricciardone used the term “limits”?

Question:  No, no, vice president of AKP said --

Mr. Crowley:  Again, it’s not for me to parse the language used by Turkish officials.  We stand by the ambassador’s statement.

Question:  There is some strong arguments in Turkey that the U.S. approach so far to Turkish Government, strong Turkish Government, kind of appeasement policy to --

Mr. Crowley:  What kind of policy?

Question:  Appeasement.

Mr. Crowley:  Appeasement?

Question:  Yes, to Turkish Government.  Not – there’s my newspaper’s editorial yesterday, so I’m just (inaudible) message what would be your --

Mr. Crowley:  It’s hard for me to put that in context.  Turkey is an ally and friend of the United States.  But as we’ve made clear, anytime that we think that a friend or ally or adversary has crossed a line and – in terms of respect for universal principles, we will not hesitate to raise our voice. Again, it’s not for me to parse the language used by Turkish officials.  We stand by the ambassador’s statement.