Turkey’s President Erdogan declares 10 ambassadors "persona non grata"

20:24, 23 October 2021
Turkey’s President Erdogan declares 10 ambassadors persona non grata Photo:

The envoys have earlier called on the Turkish government to release activist Osman Kavala.

On Saturday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan imposed the "persona non grata" status on ten ambassadors after they had appealed to free Osman Kavala on October 18.

The announcement was made as the Head of State addressed Turkish citizens in Eskisehir highlighting that foreigners cannot come to the Turkish Foreign Ministry and tell them what to do.

"I gave the order to our foreign minister and told him what must be done. These ten ambassadors must be declared persona non grata immediately. You will sort it out," the President said.

Ambassadors from the US, Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden can now see their diplomatic status disappear and get extradited from Turkey.

The Saturday declaration comes several days after the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors and denounced the joint statement calling it irresponsible.

Osman Kavala has been imprisoned for four years for protests and a coup attempt in 2013 but he remains unconvicted. The ten ambassadors have reprimanded the incessant postponements and undemocratic procedure. It also called on the Turkish government to present a “speedy resolution to his case”.

“Noting the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on the matter, we call for Turkey to secure his urgent release,” the statement says.

Kavala, 64, pleads not guilty and stresses that he is a victim of Erdogan’s crackdown on the opposition.

Most envoys have not provided comments yet, though the Norwegian foreign ministry representatives said that it "not done anything that warrants an expulsion".