Turkey’s Erdogan drops idea to extradite 10 foreign ambassadors
23:14, 25 October 2021
The President believes that the community learned a lesson and he does not want the situation to become a new international crisis.
On Monday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renounced his intention to expel ten Western envoys after they had issued a joint statement demanding an immediate release of oppositionist Osman Kavala.
Last Saturday Erdogan imposed the "persona non grata" status on envoys from the US, Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden stressing that they could not give orders within Turkey.
The group of ambassadors later highlighted that they respected the UN convention which requires envoys to abstain from interfering in the host country’s interior affairs.
Erdogan regarded it as a sign of concession adding that the diplomats will act more carefully from now on.
"The Turkish justice never takes orders from anyone and is not under anyone’s command. Our goal is never to create crises, it is to protect the rights, laws, honor, and sovereignty of our country," the President said during a Cabinet meeting.
Earlier on Monday, the embassies’ accounts on Twitter made posts highlighting that they respected Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. At the same time, Erdogan was holding a meeting with Turkey’s ministers to discuss the potential extradition of the diplomats.
Osman Kavala has been imprisoned for four years for protests carried out in 2013 and a coup attempt in 2016 but he remains unconvicted. The ten ambassadors have reprimanded the incessant postponements and undemocratic procedure. They also called on the Turkish government to present a “speedy resolution to his case”.