Veteran spokesperson Toner, during daily press briefing over the phone, was asked about Washington Post’s editorial from 2 days ago in which the paper asked Trump administration whether it is going to speak up against what it apparently seems like a downward spiral when it comes to human rights and freedoms in Turkey. Washington Post compared Turkey with Russia and China on Human Rights violations while the same country was seen a model Muslim democracy about a decade ago.
Toner, responding Washington Hattı’s question, stated: ”Look, the United States has a long record of speaking out privately and publicly on human rights and fundamental freedoms, and that includes Turkey. All of you know that. We urge Turkey to respect and ensure freedom of expression, fair trial guarantees, judicial independence, and other essential freedoms. We also firmly believe in freedom of expression, and that any freedom of expression, including for speech and the media – and that includes also speech that some may find controversial or uncomfortable – only strengthens a democracy and it needs to be protected.
With respect to the constitutional referendum, I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again: This is a matter for the Turkish people to debate and decide.”
Trump Administration’s responses seem very much like Obama Administation’s:
Toner’s comment on human rights violations in Turkey seemed very much like the Obama administration’s.