Turkey: Erdogan orders the expulsion of several ambassadors including that of France

the essential Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Saturday that he had ordered the expulsion, “as quickly as possible”, of the ten ambassadors including those of France, Germany and the United States, who demanded the release of the opponent Osman Kavala.

“I ordered our Minister of Foreign Affairs to declare these ten ambassadors persona non grata as soon as possible,” said the head of state during a trip to central Turkey, without however specifying the date. which diplomats will have to leave the country.

These diplomats “must know and understand Turkey,” Erdogan continued, accusing them of “indecency”. “They will have to leave ‘the country’ if they no longer know it,” he added.

A rare measure in international relations, declaring diplomats “persona non grata” opens the way for their expulsion or recall by their own country.

“From morning to night they (the diplomats) repeat: Kavala, Kavala … But the one you speak of, Kavala, is Soros’ agent in Turkey,” said the president during a public meeting, making a news. a reference to the American billionaire of Hungarian origin George Soros to whom he regularly compares the opponent.

Imprisoned for four years without trial, Osman Kavala has since been accused 2013 by President Erdogan’s regime of seeking to destabilize Turkey.

In a statement released on Monday evening, Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United States called for a “just settlement. and rapid of the case “Osman Kavala, Turkish businessman and patron who became one of the regime’s pet peeves, imprisoned for four years without trial.

The next day, they were summoned to the Foreign Ministry, the Turkish authorities deeming their approach “unacceptable”.

The Turkish head of state then brandished the threat of deportation on his return from an African tour on Thursday, without however taking any action.

First countries to respond, on Saturday night, Sweden and Norway both said they had not received any official notification regarding their respective ambassadors at this point.

“Our ambassador did nothing that could justify the deportation,” Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Trude MÃ¥seide said, quoted by NTB news agency, adding that her country “will continue to urge Turkey to adhere to democratic standards and the rule of law to which the country is committed under the European Convention on Human Rights “.

sanctions for Turkey?

In December 2019, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered the “immediate release” of Mr. Kavala – to no avail.

At 64 years old, this major figure of civil society, wealthy businessman and philanthropist, born in Paris, was kept in detention in early October by an Istanbul court which felt “lacking new elements to release him”.

Osman Kavala, who has always denied the charges against him, will appear again on 26 November.

Originally arrested for his participation in the so-called Gezi anti-government movement in 2013, when Erdogan was prime minister, he was subsequently charged with attempted coup d’etat and spying.

In a recent interview with AFP, Mr. Kavala estimated that his detention allows the regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan to justify its “conspiracy theories”.

“Considering that a fair trial is no longer possible in these circumstances, I think it makes no sense for me to attend the hearings to come”, he announced Friday via his lawyers.

The Council of Europe recently threatened Turkey with sanctions, which could be adopted at its next session (30 November to 2 December) if the opponent is not not released by then.

Opposition leader Kemal Kiliçdaroglu estimated that the threat of an imminent expulsion of ambassadors risked “plunging the country into the abyss”.

“I say it openly, these actions are not motivated by the protection of national interests but result from an effort to create artificial causes for its destruction of the economy,” he said.

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