Erdogan threatens to expel 10 Western envoys

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday threatened to expel the U.S., German and eight other Western Ambassadors after they issued a rare joint statement in support of a jailed civil society leader.

Parisian-born philanthropist and activist Osman Kavala, 64, has been in jail without a conviction since 2017, becoming a symbol of what critics see as Mr. Erdogan’s growing intolerance of dissent.

Joint statement

The 10 Ambassadors issued a highly unusual joint statement on Monday — distributed widely on their Turkish social media accounts — saying Mr. 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,” Mr. Erdogan told reporters in comments published by Turkish media.

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

In their statement, the U.S., Germany, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden called for a “just and speedy resolution to (Kavala)’s case”.

The 10 envoys were summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

“Is it within your boundary to teach such a lesson to Turkey? Who are you?” Mr. Erdogan reportedly demanded to know.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 6:40:50 PM |

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