DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
Briefer: John Kirby, Spokesperson
My Qs & As w John Kirby
US urges Turkey to allow effective investigations by Turkish prosecutors
QUESTION: Yesterday, you talk about – I ask about Human Rights Watch group report on Turkey southeast, and you said you were going to study on it. Do you have any comment now?
MR KIRBY: I don’t have a whole lot more than what I told you yesterday. We’re obviously aware of the report stating that the Turkish Government has not responded to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – the letter requesting permission for a UN team to conduct an investigation in southeastern Turkey to examine potential violations by the security forces during military operations in urban areas. We urge Turkey to allow effective investigations by Turkish prosecutors into civilian deaths and destruction of civilian property in Cizre – is that how you say that --
MR KIRBY: -- Cizre, thank you – and other towns in the southeast and give the UN and nongovernmental groups access to the area to document what is taking place. Last thing I’d say is we urge Turkey to take all feasible precautions, of course, to protect civilians and act consistency – consistently with legal obligations.
QUESTION: UN and human rights groups have been asking for this permission for months. In 2016, Turkey is a NATO ally. How do you see – how it is not possible for Turkey, your ally, not to allow investigators to look into the human rights violations?
MR KIRBY: Well, again, I think I’ve stated our position. We urge them to allow that access and to conduct those investigations. We believe it’s important not because they’re a NATO ally, but because it’s the right thing to do. And again, we’re not bashful about stating our views in that regard.
QUESTION: And one more: There is – Hursit Kulter, he is the local pro-Kurdish party member who have been disappeared for five days and been millions of hashtag going on in the Twitter and social media, and there is no comment from Turkish authorities for over forty five days. I wonder if you have anything on that.
MR KIRBY: I’ve not seen that report. Why don’t we see if we can’t get back to you.