Psaki: “We are confident” that Turkish protests didn’t affect the U.S.-Turkey relationship in terms of dialogue

In response to a question on whether she was confident the ongoing protests in Turkey affected U.S-Turkey relations, Spokesperson Jen Psaki responded “we are confident.” Read the full excerpt of the State Department’s Daily Press Briefing below: 

QUESTION: Do you have an update on Turkey, on the protests in Turkey?

MS. PSAKI: Did you have a specific question about it, or —

QUESTION: About your dialogue with Turkish Government maybe, because the Prime Minister —

MS. PSAKI: Well, the Secretary did speak again with the Foreign Minister this weekend, but it was mainly focused on Syria. Of course, we remain focused on calling for calm and calling on all sides to make sure that they don’t escalate the rhetoric and that – refrain – that all sides refrain from violence. So that’s where our focus remains.

QUESTION: The Prime Minister made a statement about the Occupy Wall Street protests. And he said in America also, there were 17 people who were killed during the incidents. And immediately, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara refuted his remarks, and they tweeted that there was no one who were killed in the incidents.

MS. PSAKI: That’s correct.

QUESTION: But then they deleted the tweet.

MS. PSAKI: And they’ve, I believe, spoken to standing by the information. It is correct that no individuals died during Occupy Wall Street. But these were decisions made by our Embassy there, and I would point you to them.

QUESTION: Jen, can you just clarify: You said that Secretary Kerry did speak with his counterpart, his Turkish counterpart this weekend.

MS. PSAKI: The Foreign Minister. He spoke mainly about Syria and the ongoing crisis there as part of their conversation.

QUESTION: Perhaps I misunderstood when I asked earlier about conversations that the Secretary had had with his counterparts. Were you just speaking about today when you said he hadn’t spoken with anyone but Hague? Is there anyone I missed?

MS. PSAKI: I think I was. I’m happy to get you all an update. I wasn’t meaning to be – he speaks with people all the time – with his counterparts all the time about Syria and a range of issues. So obviously —

QUESTION: Specific to Syria would be helpful.

MS. PSAKI: — Hague today, and Davutoglu this weekend, and we’ll see if there are other calls that we can read out for all of you.

QUESTION: Jen, to clarify: Are you confident that these incidents, this protest, didn’t affect the relationship between U.S. and Turkey in terms of the dialogue with – on Syria, for example?

MS. PSAKI: We are confident. The Secretary has a great working relationship with Foreign Minister Davutoglu. They have been working very closely on coordinating and discussing options for how to best help the opposition. They see each other around the world at various conferences, and they speak frequently. So we’ll continue to work closely with them on that.


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