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Erdogan Threatens to Expel 10 Western Envoys

Erdogan Threatens to Expel 10 Western Envoys

Friday, 22 October, 2021 - 06:30
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - Reuters

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticized Thursday ambassadors of 10 countries, including the US, Germany and France, over their call for philanthropist Osman Kavala's release from prison, saying Ankara should not be hosting them.

Kavala, a high-profile prisoner who has been detained for three-and-a-half years, is accused of involvement in the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

“I told our foreign minister: We can't have the luxury of hosting this lot in our country. Is it your place to teach such a lesson to Turkey?" Erdogan told reporters on a return fight from Nigeria.

On Monday, the 10 ambassadors issued a joint statement calling for the release of Kavala.

"Together, the embassies of Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the US believe a just and speedy resolution to his case must be in line with Turkey's international obligations and domestic laws. Noting the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on the matter, we call for Turkey to secure his urgent release,” they wrote.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors and rejected their statement, describing it as “irresponsible.”

Also, Erdogan rejected any suggestion that the Turkish judiciary was not independent.

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