US expresses concerns about Turkey's graft crisis

US expresses concerns about Turkey's graft crisis

WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
US expresses concerns about Turkeys graft crisis

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that Washington's concerns regarding the events unfolding in Turkey have been expressed 'directly, publicly and privately,' during her press briefing Jan. 9. AFP photo

The United States is watching with concern a deepening political crisis unfolding in its key ally Turkey, and has voiced its disquiet to Turkish leaders, a U.S. official said Jan. 9.

"In our conversations with all stakeholders in Turkey, we continue to make clear that the United States supports the desire of the Turkish people for a legal system that meets the highest standards of fairness, timeliness and transparency," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

Washington believes in a system "where no one is above the law and where allegations against public figures are investigated impartially," she added.

"Turkey is and remains a key U.S. ally," Psaki said. "We've expressed our concerns about some of the events that are happening on the ground directly, publicly and privately."

Concerns on PM Erdoğan’s actions ‘voiced’

Upon a journalist’s question asking if Washington considered the Turkish prime minister “a leader who respects democracy” referring to the latest row with the judiciary, Paski said that the U.S. voiced its opinion as it “saw fit.”

“I will say that when we have concerns about [Erdoğan’s] actions, we express those. And that’s something I have just done today,” Psaki said. 

The turmoil erupted mid-December amid allegations of corruption implicating the sons of three ex-ministers and businessmen close to the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has insisted it will overcome the probes, while Erdoğan has described it as a "plot" to topple his 11-year government.

The government struck back with a wave of police sackings, as well as recent moves in past days to increase control on the judiciary.