Friday, May 23, 2014


Daily Press Briefing Index
Friday, May 23, 2014
1:17 p.m. EDT
Briefer: Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson

Urge all sides to exercise restraint and avoid violence 
QUESTION:  Okay.  On Turkey, again, yesterday – first of all, since yesterday, there have been protests and two people already died in this protests.  And they are going on tonight, as well.  Do you have any comment on this?  Have you seen?

MS. HARF:  Well, yeah, we’re closely following the reports of what’s happening.  Obviously, very saddened by the loss of life that we’ve seen and urge all sides to exercise restraint and avoid violence as they participate in these protests or in terms of the response.

QUESTION:  So today, Amnesty International released a statement regarding these two killings, and according to reports – according to Amnesty International, one of them died with teargas canister in his right eye and the other one was with live ammunition.  Yesterday, I asked this question whether U.S. is reassessing its policy selling riot control equipment, such as teargas, to Turkey.  And Jen stated that there are certain standards that should be held. 

MS. HARF:  Mm-hmm.  And that they’re a NATO ally as well, obviously, which plays into some of this.  And to my knowledge, I don’t know if people are reassessing this.  I am happy to check with our folks and see.

QUESTION:  Turkey?  Just one question following up from yesterday.  I ask about Kurdistan Regional Government’s oil to Turkey and (inaudible) to world market. 

MS. HARF:  Mm-hmm.

QUESTION:  Today, the Baghdad government – Maliki government reacted this shipment.  And Jen said yesterday that the U.S. will talk to officials in Turkey.

MS. HARF:  Uh-huh.

QUESTION:  Do you have any follow-up on this?

MS. HARF:  Well, as I think she said yesterday – but look, what needs to happen here is that the parties need to come back to the table and talk about getting an agreement in place and that no one should take any steps until there’s an agreement in place.  So obviously we’ve seen some steps being taken separate from that, and we would not support that.  We’ve been very clear about that for a long time.

I don’t have specifics in terms of who we’ve talked to about this issue, but I know we’ve raised it.

QUESTION:  Okay.  Another question:  Just yesterday, an Istanbul prosecutor is now seeking 52 years prison for a journalist who published classified documents of the government.  Do you think it’s enough, or --

MS. HARF:  I don’t think I have any comment on those reports.

QUESTION:  You have not seen these reports?

MS. HARF:  I don’t have any comment on those reports.  I’ve seen them; I just don’t have any comment for you.


MS. HARF:  Thank you.

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