Erdogan orders 10 Western envoys declared ‘persona non grata’

Posted on October 23, 2021, 2:36 pm
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ANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said that he had ordered the foreign ministry to declare 10 ambassadors from Western countries ‘persona non grata’ for calling for the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala.

“I have ordered our foreign minister to declare these 10 ambassadors as persona non grata as soon as possible,” he said, referring to a term used in diplomacy which signifies the first step before expulsion.

Meanwhile, the foreign ministry summoned the ambassadors on Tuesday for what it said was an “irresponsible” statement calling for a just and speedy resolution to Kavala’s case.

Kavala has been in prison since late 2017, charged with financing protests and participating in a failed coup, which he denies.

The 10 ambassadors issued a highly unusual joint statement on Monday — distributed widely on their Turkish social media accounts — saying Kavala’s continued detention “cast a shadow” over Turkey.

“I told our foreign minister that we cannot have the luxury of hosting them in our country,” Erdogan had told reporters.

Kavala has faced a string of alternating charges linked to 2013 anti-government protests and a failed military coup in 2016

The ambassadors are from the US, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Holland, Sweden, Canada, Norway and New Zealand.

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