ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
U.S. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland. Hürriyet photo
U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone said nothing new in critical comments levied against Turkey, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in her daily press briefing Feb. 7.
“This is nothing new from our point of view. We have
always been very clear on these issues before the public and during private
meetings. Ambassador Ricciardone only repeated what [former] Secratary of State
Clinton has already said, and I am sure that Secretary of State John Kerry will
say the same things when he has the opportunity to speak in public on these
issues,” Nuland told reporters.
Nuland added that the friends and allies
of Turkey would continue to insist, with due respect, on the importance of
improving human rights in Turkey.
Responding to a question on the
meeting between Ricciardone and Sinirlioğlu, Nuland said it would be more
appropriate to ask this question to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
During a recent meeting with Ankara
chiefs, Ricciardone had criticized the arrests of military officers, non-violent
protesters and professors on unclear charges. “You have your military leaders,
who were entrusted with the protection of this country, behind bars as if they
were terrorists,” he said, referring to hundreds of military officers behind
bars as part of the ongoing “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) and other court
“When a legal system produces such results and confuses people
like that for terrorists, it makes it hard for American
and European courts to match up. We are working
to reconcile our legal processes in both countries,” he said.