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US Spokesperson for the Department of State Heather Nauert has said Daily Sabah reporter Soylu, who posed her a question, “works for government-private partnership publication”.
Soylu had announced a video about People’s Protection Units (YPG) members chanted slogans and opened banner of Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan.
Daily Sabah is owned by Turkuaz Media Group that also includes pro-government Sabah daily newspaper.
“You say no government funding, right?”
The dialogue in the daily press briefing was as follows:
Soylu: In response to your statement that said PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan doesn’t merit veneration, YPG released a video featuring its fighters in Raqqa praising Ocalan. So U.S.-backed YPG militia believes Ocalan merit – merits veneration. Do you have a response to this?
Nauert: These are the posters, right, of what I would – what I’m saying —
S:Yes. After the posters, they released a video basically in response to your comments.
N: Okay. I’m not aware of this video that was released, and a lot of comments and things that come in from either leaders or groups around the world, I’m not going to comment on in particular. But —
S: But these are your partners.
N: Hold on, hold on. But what I can tell you is that the liberation of Raqqa has been a clear accomplishment not just for the coalition, but most importantly, for the Syrian people. We expect all parties – and this would be included in this video, I suppose, that you reference – to avoid actions that would be seen as offensive or create any additional tensions.
The United States Government works closely with Turkey, as you are well aware. You’re a reporter from Turkey; you work for the government publication, government-private partnership publication. We work with Turkey to try to fight terrorism and increase regional stability.
S: So it’s a private company. It doesn’t —
N: Oh, yours is?
N: Okay, okay.
S: It’s not owned by the —
N: No government funding, right? No government funding?
S: No, no government funding.
N: Okay, okay. Mm-hmm. Okay.