White House says expects Turkey to uphold democratic freedoms
WASHINGTON - Reuters
White House press secretary Jay Carney listens to a question during the daily press briefing, June 13, at the White House in Washington. AP photoThe White House on June 13 said Turkish authorities should uphold the freedoms of expression and assembly, and individuals should not be punished for exercising their rights amid a police crackdown on the protests sparked by the demolition attempt of Istanbul's Gezi Park.
"Turkey is a close friend and ally of the United States, and we expect the Turkish authorities to uphold these fundamental freedoms," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
Carney also said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had spoken with his counterpart Ahmet Davutoğlu, and that there had been other communication between the United States and Turkey about the protest at different levels.
But Carney did not comment on whether President Barack Obama had spoken directly with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan about the protests.
The protests in Turkey are entering their 18th day as the government has launched talks with representatives of protesters, raising the possibility on a referendum to determine the faith of what has become an iconic park.