US ‘Concerned about Quality of Democracy in Turkey’

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The Turkish President has decided to get along with the US and even discuss the level of democracy in the country after the Pentagon carried out missile strikes in Syria.

US ‘Concerned about Quality of Democracy in Turkey’

Spokesman for the US State Department, Mark Toner (Photo: Reuters / Joshua Roberts)

According to spokesman for the US State Department, Mark Toner, Washington is concerned about the level of democracy in Turkey and is conducting talks with the country’s government on this issue. The remarks were made on Thursday, just before the referendum on constitutional amendments, which should be held on Sunday.

“I’d just say we’re obviously following this issue very closely. As I said the other day, we are concerned about the quality of Turkey’s democracy,” Toner said at a regular press briefing. “These are discussions that we have on a somewhat regular basis with the Turkish government. Because we’re strong allies and partners, we can have those kinds of conversations.”

Talking about a report of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which pointed to “limitations” during the campaigning for the “no” votes, the spokesman referred to his statements on April 11.

“We’re looking at that and studying it very closely … We hope the referendum is carried out in such a way that guarantees and strengthens democracy in Turkey,” he said. “We never want to see, as part of any kind of free and fair electoral process, any kind of limitation on all sides to express their views peacefully,” Toner added.

In this way, the situation looks like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decided to get along with its “strong ally and partner” from the West, right after this partner carried out missile strikes in Syria, and even to discuss the country’s democracy with it. However, it seems that the Turkish President just forgot that in fact, his country does not have real democracy.

The US State Department spokesman also mentioned Andrew Brunson, the evangelical Presbyterian pastor from North Carolina, who was arrested in Turkey in December 2016.

“We have asked Turkish officials to consider releasing Mr. Brunson from custody, subject to whatever judicial conditions or controls may be appropriate while his legal case is resolved,” Toner said. “He’s been in detention far too long and this has been done with other individuals under investigation. Of course, we call on the Turkish authorities to resolve his case in a timely and fair manner, respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the protections of a fair trial guarantee that are necessary for his defense,” he added.

The spokesman stressed that the US will continue to offer “whatever support we can to Mr. Brunson and his family.”

Brunson was accused of membership of the so-called Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETO), founded by US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, who, according to Ankara, was the orginizer of the failed coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016.

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  • Dod Grile

    Why are they concerned? There isn’t any. That is the way they like it.

  • Peter Moy

    Mr. Toner should be more concerned about democracy in the US. Voter turnout for eligible voters in the 2016 presidential election was a national disgrace of only 57% (revised up from 52%). Americans can be proud of having a large percentage of the population that is apathetic and just doesn’t care about this democracy. Meanwhile democracy is a major factor in US foreign policy and “nation building” (i.e. creating puppets and lapdogs). It is up to the Turkish voters to choose the path they want their country to follow, not a bunch of slack jawed, hypocritical schmucks in Washington, DC. The US has enough massive domestic problems of its own that need to be addressed but will scream bloody rape if another country is suspected of interfering in the US electoral process.

    • Nexusfast123

      Does not matter as they have nothing to vote for. Only a series of impotent puppets of which Trump is the latest version. The US has just undergone a soft coup and the military call the shots.

    • Derapage

      GOP == DP

    • Jonathan Cohen

      Just check US MAYORAL turnout if you think presidential turnout is bad! especially Mayoral turnout of tenant voters which is the ONLY hope for 3rd parties in the US. No party can even think about national elections without at least 100 mayors! PLEASE RUSSIA! HELP ELECT TENANT MAYORS!

  • jade villaceran

    looks like turkey need freedom

    • Guy

      It actually does, Erdogan’s the biggest enemy of the average Turk.

      • Jonathan Cohen

        They must defend their abortion rights from Erdogan!

  • slorter

    One needs to be concerned about the shape of democracy everywhere and that would include the United States!

    • Jonathan Cohen

      Abortion rights are far more important, especially in Bahrain, Uzbekistan! and Kyrgistan!

      • slorter

        Granted abortion rights are important and so is people living in a world where the plane that flies over you does not drop bombs on you, or the the drone does not carry out assassinations, or the rule of law that only applies to certain groups domestically and internationally, or a media that has an independent narrative, or everyone has a job with a liveable wage, or the person that we elect actually working for the people not some corporation that leverages with dollars, or a universal health care system for everyone, or drugs that are affordable. There are a lot of countries out there with something to think about!!!!!!!!

        • Jonathan Cohen

          Your entire list is a pipedream without abortion rights.

  • Hershel “El Muerte” Ezestein

    Now you worry?

  • PZIVJ1943

    Please do not bother Erdogan with this nonsense.
    He is busy trying to re build the Ottoman empire starting with Syria.

    • Jonathan Cohen

      Turks would have the right to spread their abortion rights, though that is other Turks, not Erdogan.

  • JPH

    I am not concerned about US democracy anymore because it is a lost case. Fully agree with ex-president Carter categorizing the US as a plutocracy.

    • Jonathan Cohen

      The ONLY hope in the US starts with 3rd party MAYORS! cAN’T ELECT A PRESIDENT WITHOUT 100 TENANT MAYORS!

  • ZP

    It is a slight worry, but as long as democracy in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait is healthy I am at ease…

    • Jonathan Cohen

      Bahrain’s abortion rights are far more important.

      • Thegr8rambino

        Why are u so obsessed with abortion rights lol

        • Jonathan Cohen

          the alternative is Armageddon, perhaps for the whole galaxy.

  • John Marks

    As long as Turkey continues doing America’s dirty work in Syria, Erdoğan is safe.

  • Thegr8rambino

    LOL its the US that should be concerned with the quality of democracy in its own damn borders!!

  • FlorianGeyer

    All I can add to Mark Toner’s briefing is LOL.

  • enrpreit

    Mr Toner: an artist on how make declarations and give answers without saying anything