Thursday, August 11, 2016

US: Extradition is a lengthy process.. Sometimes it can be months, it can be years.

DPB #141
Briefer: Elizabeth Trudeau, Director, Office of Press Relations

Turkey Qs and As 

Turkey-Russia's anti-ISIL coalition is welcome if it targets ISIL
MS TRUDEAU: Good afternoon, everyone. I have two short things at the top, then we’ll get to your questions.
First, on Turkey: The United States condemns yesterday’s bombings in Kiziltepe and Diyarbakir. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and wish a quick recovery to the many injured.
Secondly, on a happier note, we’re pleased to welcome to today’s press briefing a group of Haitian journalists who are participating in a weeklong USAID-sponsored training on health journalism at VOA Creole Service. It’s a pleasure to have you guys here. Bienvenue.
QUESTION: Let’s see, we could start with Ukraine or Turkey.
MS TRUDEAU: It’s up to you, my friend.
QUESTION: Do you have any – well, since you mentioned Turkey in your opening, we’ll start with --
MS TRUDEAU: Let’s start with Turkey.
QUESTION: -- Turkey. You will have seen the Turks have proposed joint operations, military operations, whatever that means, with the Russians in Syria, and I’m wondering if you have any thoughts about that.
MS TRUDEAU: Well, we’ve seen those reports, certainly, and we remain in close contact with our Turkish allies and our partners in the fight against Daesh. We’ve been clear if – work against Daesh, against ISIL is a priority for all of us if this is truly a step in that direction, we would welcome that.

QUESTION: Okay, so you don’t have any fundamental – as long as it takes that form, you wouldn’t have an issue with it? You don’t have a problem?
MS TRUDEAU: As we remain in coordination with all the members of the anti-ISIL coalition, this would be part of that and we would welcome it.

US: NATO countries procure military equipment that’s interoperable with NATO systems
QUESTION: Okay. And what about suggestions from some Turkish officials that they’re looking to expand – I don’t know if “replace” is actually the right word, but – at least at the moment, but expand their non-NATO defense and security cooperation? Is that an issue for you guys?
MS TRUDEAU: Well, Turkey’s been a member of NATO since 1952. It is a tremendous member of the alliance. It’s a framework nation in Afghanistan. We’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with our Turkish allies not only in Afghanistan, but in training, in exercises around the world. Is Turkey – I’ve seen the comments on that. I’d refer you to the Turkish Government for more information. A fundamental tenet of NATO is interoperability. We believe it’s important that NATO countries procure military equipment that’s interoperable with NATO systems. So I’d point you to the Turks to clarify that.
QUESTION: Okay. Do you know, does the when you talk about interoperable equipment, does that basically mean U.S.-made equipment?
MS TRUDEAU: No, so a lot of -- QUESTION: Or can --
MS TRUDEAU: -- the NATO equipment that you see, or NATO standard – it’s actually a formal standard. It doesn’t have to be U.S.-made equipment though of course, as an American, I’m always happy to see U.S. equipment – but it’s a NATO standard.
QUESTION: So this stuff that you’re talking about is made in other NATO countries as well?
MS TRUDEAU: So it depends on what it is. As I said, NATO interoperable equipment is a well-recognized standard when you’re taking a look at military hardware in order to assure when we go out on exercises, when we do have to actually use this equipment, that interoperability is a fundamental sort of bedrock of NATO.
QUESTION: Right. But primarily, the country that manufactures most NATO interoperable equipment that meets that standard is the United States, right?
MS TRUDEAU: The United States is a major defense manufacturer.
QUESTION: So basically you would like – you’re saying you would like to see the Turks buy
American, and not --
MS TRUDEAU: I always, as an American, like to see people buy American. 
QUESTION: All right.
MS TRUDEAU: But interoperable is our bottom line.

QUESTION: Turkey. Thanks. Yeah, yeah.
MS TRUDEAU: Okay, let me go to Russia Today first.
QUESTION: Two weeks ago, Brett McGurk said the U.S. didn’t want Russia to join the anti- ISIL coalition. Today, Turkey invited Russia to engage in joint anti-ISIL operations. Did Turkey break ranks?
MS TRUDEAU: No, I think I just answered this question.
QUESTION: But did what is the simple answer to the reaction to that?
MS TRUDEAU: We’ve been very clear that if Russia is interested in fighting against ISIL, which they’ve said they want to do, then we would welcome that.
QUESTION: Did Turkey communicate with Washington prior to making that offer to Russia? 
MS TRUDEAU: I have no communications on that to read out.
QUESTION: Well, as you said, Russia Turkey is a NATO ally, it is a member of the U.S.-led coalition, it is offering joint operations. So does that mark a change in the coalition strategy?
MS TRUDEAU: As we’ve said, and I just said, we have been very clear that if Russia is really interested in taking the fight to ISIL, to combating a terror threat that, frankly, involves the entire global community, we would welcome their interest in that. We’ve had doubts in the past. Let’s see where this goes.

QUESTION: The short answer to her question, does this change the strategy, is “No,” right? 
MS TRUDEAU: “No,” exactly.
QUESTION: Or it doesn’t change the --
MS TRUDEAU: Yeah, it doesn’t.

QUESTION: I just wanted to ask you to comment on a statement attributed to President Erdogan in which he’s suggesting that you guys must choose between Gulen or Turkey. I wonder if you have any comments on that.
MS TRUDEAU: Yeah, I wouldn’t speak specifically to that. You’re asking fundamentally about the question of extradition --
MS TRUDEAU: -- which we’ve spoken a lot about. I would point out an extradition treaty has
two signatories -- 
MS TRUDEAU: -- two partners who have engaged in this. It’s a legal, technical process. It’s very clear how this process unfolds. It’s not influenced by emotion. It’s not influenced by politics. We have received documents. We are continue to review them and we continue to be in close touch with our Turkish friends on this. But it’s a process that is governed by the law and the legal system.
QUESTION: So let me ask you, then, if it is so clear, why is it that the president of Turkey or Turkish officials are having such a hard time understanding this very basic legal process? Do you think maybe because this Turkish president wants to get as much mileage as possible out of this process?
MS TRUDEAU: Oh, Said, I couldn’t talk to that.
QUESTION: No, let me put that out.
MS TRUDEAU: I would direct you to the Turks to speak to that.
QUESTION: Why do you think why do you think they keep putting the why do they ignore this thing? You keep saying that this is a lengthy process, it is a legal process in which you it must go through and so on. Why do you why do they insist that you must do this right away?
MS TRUDEAU: I couldn’t even start to project my own opinion on what comments coming out are. We would direct you to the Turks to speak to their own comments.
QUESTION: Do you think that he’s utilizing this issue maybe to sort of augment his hold on power or things like – you don’t want to --
MS TRUDEAU: I wouldn’t characterize it as that. This was a very serious incident. The President, the Secretary of State, our military leadership have all condemned this failed coup and
we certainly stand with the Turks as they seek to bring perpetrators to justice. That said, we also have talked to them publicly, we’ve spoken to them privately about the need to do that in accordance with due process, rule of law, with the freedoms that are guaranteed under Turkey’s own constitution. So in terms of their motives or some of the rhetoric we’ve seen coming out, I’d direct you to the Turks for that.
QUESTION: And finally, how would the defection of high-ranking military officers and so on from Turkey, whether to the U.S. or elsewhere, affect this alliance that you have with Turkey?
MS TRUDEAU: I think our alliance with Turkey, as I mentioned in NATO since 1952 our partnership with Turkey is deep and strong and solid, full stop.

US: Extradition is a lengthy process.. Sometimes it can be months, it can be years. 
QUESTION: Turkey and --
QUESTION: Can I follow up?
MS TRUDEAU: Hold on, let’s go to Ilhan and then I’ll go to you, Arshad, if that’s okay.
QUESTION: Yeah, sure. Sure.
QUESTION: Just the same question, just a follow-up. This extradition process has been told to Ankara for a long time now.
MS TRUDEAU: This is a very lengthy process. 
MS TRUDEAU: Sometimes it can be months, it can be years. I’m not going to put a timeline on that.
QUESTION: Even though this told you told Turkey about this, President Erdogan just came out yesterday and said either Gulen or Turkey. And also, though, you just stated that you have been trying to assist Turkey in terms of their investigation or after coup situation.
But on the other hand, beginning from President Erdogan, Turkish administration officials have been accusing U.S. that not supporting its ally and one thing, the last thing, that Secretary Kerry will be maybe coming to Turkey and President Erdogan says --
MS TRUDEAU: Is there a question in this, Ilhan? QUESTION: Yes. I am sorry.
MS TRUDEAU: (Laughter.) It’s okay. I’m just losing – yeah.
7 8/11/2016
QUESTION: That’s fine, that’s – so my question is: Why do you think, even though you have been telling this and explaining this to Ankara, this rhetoric it keep coming from Ankara?
MS TRUDEAU: Again, this goes back to Said’s question. I’m not going to speak to the comments of foreign leaders. It’s up to them to explain. The U.S. position has been very clear. Turkey is our friend, it’s our partner, it’s our NATO ally. We stand with the democratically elected government of Turkey.

US: No confirmation for Sec Kerry visit to Turkey
QUESTION: Can you confirm Secretary Kerry going to Turkey? 
MS TRUDEAU: I have no travel to announce, Ilhan. 

US: "Turkey or Gulen" is not even a choice
QUESTION: Just to be simple and clear this is a question for you. 
QUESTION: Does the U.S. Government believe it needs to choose between its close partnership and alliance with Turkey and Mr. Gulen? Surely, the answer is no.
MS TRUDEAU: Well, I wouldn’t even characterize it that way. I think that what the U.S. would say is we would live up to our obligations, absolutely, under any extradition treaty. And that is completely separate and part apart from our deep and abiding partnership with Turkey.
QUESTION: So you don’t believe you need to choose between the two?
MS TRUDEAU: We don’t need to – obviously not. But I don’t even think it’s a choice,
QUESTION: Thank you.
MS TRUDEAU: I think that the legal process governing extradition is very clear; it’s laid out in a treaty. And our support and partnership for Turkey should be unquestioned.
QUESTION: And second, you began this briefing by condemning, as I believe multiple U.S. officials already did yesterday --
MS TRUDEAU: They did.
QUESTION: -- the recent attack in Turkey. 

US: Extradition process is "a very lengthy process."
QUESTION: You then reiterated the multiple, multiple denials of any well, you condemned the attempted coup and so on. Are you getting a little weary of the critical and somewhat belligerent rhetoric from Turkish officials toward the United States?
MS TRUDEAU: I wouldn’t characterize it as that. I would say to what I think I said earlier this week. We understand that this was a very serious situation in Turkey and we understand the Government of Turkey is still working through that. What I think my job is and where the United States is is we want to reassure Turkey that our partnership remains solid.
QUESTION: So another one on this, please.
QUESTION: A Turkish official today said that the Turkish authorities have detained a total of 35,022 people in relation to the aborted coup. Just over half of those or 17,740 people have since been formally arrested; 11,597 were released, and 5,685 remain in custody, but apparently not yet formally not formally arrested. Is it conceivable to you that 17,740 people could have been involved in plotting a coup that the Turkish intelligence services didn’t find out about in advance?
MS TRUDEAU: I’m not an intelligence agent. I’m not on the ground. I’m not a member of the Government of Turkey. As they continue to work though this, I’d refer you there. But again, I would reiterate what we’ve said before, is we would expect all these investigations, fully understanding that they need to hold those accountable for this very grave act, needs to be done with due process and in accordance with international norms and meeting the very high level of democratic standards that’s enshrined in their own constitution.
QUESTION: Is it conceivable to you, even theoretically, that 17,000 people can have collectively plotted a coup?
MS TRUDEAU: I’m just not qualified to answer that, Arshad. I’m really not.
QUESTION: Can you think of another instance, just off the top of your head, where any
country has arrested 17,000 people for one alleged act or event?
MS TRUDEAU: I’m actually not aware of all of the charges that have been filed against the number of people you’re speaking about, so it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to speak to.
QUESTION: Can I just clarify something -- 
MS TRUDEAU: Of course.
QUESTION: -- on the Gulen thing?
9 8/11/2016
QUESTION: You said this is a very could be a very lengthy process. You said it could take it could be months; it could be years. Do you really --
MS TRUDEAU: And I said I’m not going to speculate on the amount of time.
QUESTION: Yeah, well, it sounds like your message to the Turks is don’t hold your breath on
MS TRUDEAU: Well, I think my message is --
MS TRUDEAU: I’m sorry. Go ahead.
QUESTION: I just want to clarify something here.
QUESTION: Is that the when if an extradition is that for the actual review of the extradition request and not including an appeal on the extradition --
MS TRUDEAU: It’s a – it’s the whole process.
QUESTION: So you’re not saying that it’s going to take the Justice Department and the State
Department it could take years for them to reach an initial decision on this?
MS TRUDEAU: It’s my understanding it would – the entire process can be very lengthy.
QUESTION: Which includes appeals or whatever?
MS TRUDEAU: Which includes the entire yes.
QUESTION: All right. Is it just possible – I don’t know if this is available to find out what the average – if there’s an average length of --
MS TRUDEAU: I think that’s a question for Justice. 

QUESTION: Exactly. But they don’t have briefings.
MS TRUDEAU: I know. And I’m here for you. 
QUESTION: Yeah. So maybe you could call over there and -- 
MS TRUDEAU: Thanks, Matt.
QUESTION: -- shake it loose?
MS TRUDEAU: Are we saying on Turkey?

QUESTION: Yes. This is also Turkey.
MS TRUDEAU: Hold on. Okay. I’ll get to you. Okay. Go ahead, Laurie.
QUESTION: The last time I heard you or any other U.S. official speak about what Russia was doing in Syria, it was to the effect that most Russian attacks were on targets on people other than Daesh. So my question is: Is that still the case, as far as you know? And if that is the case, that most Russian targets are other than Daesh, could it be that Turkey is trying to shift what Russia is doing in Syria by proposing these joint operations against Daesh?
MS TRUDEAU: So I’m not going to speculate on Turkey’s motives on that. We have been clear, as multiple people have said in the past, is that we have been concerned about Russia’s strikes in the past. And we’ve also been very clear that if Russia is serious, as I said before, about combating Daesh that would be very much something that we would continue to stay and dialogue with them on. You’re asking about what Turkey’s role was in that? You’re going to need to speak to Turkish officials.
QUESTION: But until now, the U.S. understanding of what Russia’s been doing has been that it’s largely been attacking targets that are other than the Daesh targets.
MS TRUDEAU: Our position has not changed on that. And I’m going to you.
QUESTION: Just to thank you.
QUESTION: Just to make sure I report this correctly. You said that what you said suggested that the U.S. is fine with Turkey’s offer of joint operations. Is that so? Did I understand correctly?
MS TRUDEAU: Our position is if that Russia is serious about taking the fight to Daesh that we would welcome having those conversations.
QUESTION: Why isn’t the U.S. now carrying out joint operations with Russia?
MS TRUDEAU: Well, as we’ve said in the past, and this goes to Laurie’s points, we’ve been very unclear what Russia’s objectives were in the past. We’ve spoken about that repeatedly here. This announcement that they’ve made, that Russia is now recommitting to taking a look at taking the fight against Daesh – that would be something I think we would all welcome. Let’s see where this goes. Russia’s actions in the past have raised questions. 

1 comment:

  1. Diplomacy in action, beautiful!

    President Erdoğan: The US must choose between Gülen and Turkey.

    Ms. Trudeau: I don't even think it's a choice.

    Translation: No, we won't let you set the agenda. We won't humiliate you by calling your bluff, we'll merely ignore you.