(Istanbul) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced, on Saturday, that he had ordered the expulsion of ten ambassadors, including the Canadian representative, for calling for the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala.
The 10 diplomats should be considered persona non grata in Turkey.
In addition to the Canadian ambassador, the other countries are the ambassadors of the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and New Zealand.
All of these diplomats issued a joint statement earlier this week calling for a solution in the case of businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala, who has been detained since 2017 without being convicted of any crime.
President Erdoğan described this joint exit of foreign representatives as “insolence”.
“I gave the order to our foreign minister saying: ‘You will immediately take responsibility for the unwelcome statements regarding these 10 ambassadors,'” he said during a party rally in Eskisehir.
He went on to say that they “will get to know, understand and know Turkey. The day they do not know or understand Turkey, they will leave.”
All the diplomats targeted were called to the State Department offices on Tuesday.
In general, the advertised diplomat Unwanted person He is forbidden to enter the country to which he is assigned.
The statement that sparked the controversy is still available on the Twitter of the Canadian embassy in Turkey. The leaflet was published online last Monday calling for the “urgent release of Mr. Kavala”.
The ten diplomats denounced that “the continued delays in his trial, particularly by merging different cases and creating new cases after a previous acquittal, casts a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and the transparency of the Turkish judicial system.”
Mr. Kavala, 64, was acquitted last year of charges related to protests against the Erdogan regime that occurred across the country in 2013. However, the sentence was overturned, and new charges linked to an attempted coup were added in 2016.
International observers, as well as human rights groups, have repeatedly called for the release of Kurdish businessman and politician Selahattin Demirtas.
The latter has been detained since 2016. All of them accuse Ankara of detaining these two men for political reasons, which the government denies by defending the independence of its courts.
The European Court of Human Rights called for Mr Kavala’s release in 2019, saying his arrest was aimed at silencing him and was not supported by any evidence linking him to a crime. The European Union has already announced that sanctions will be imposed on Turkey if Mohsen is not released before the end of November.
Global Affairs Canada has yet to respond to the news on Sunday evening.
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