DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
Briefer: Mark Toner, Deputy Spokesperson
QUESTION: Thank you. Mark, day before yesterday Turkish president signed constitutional amendment to remove immunity from MPs at parliament, most of them involved with the Kurdish MPs. Couple weeks ago you stated your concerns about what would happen if this happened. So now the president sign. I’m wondering if you have any comment on this.
MR TONER: I’d just say, again, that we’re very concerned that this amendment will have a chilling effect on freedom of speech across Turkey. Look, it’s a common tenet in democratic societies that – or, rather, a common tenet is equality before the law. We believe that the freedom to engage in free speech and political speech is – or should be, rather, protected under the law. And this certainly involves speech by elected representatives of a country’s citizens. So we’re going to continue to closely monitor it. We’re going to express our concerns with the Turkish Government.