Turkey’s Erdogan Threatens to Expel US Ambassador and Nine Others – Espanol News

ISTANBUL – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that he had ordered that 10 foreign ambassadors calling for the release of an imprisoned philanthropist be declared persona non grata.

The envoys, including representatives of the United States, France and Germany in Ankara, issued a statement earlier this week calling for a resolution to the case of Osman Kavala, a businessman and philanthropist imprisoned since 2017 despite not having been convicted. for a crime.

Erdogan, who described the statement as “impudence,” said he had ordered the ambassadors to be declared undesirable.

“I gave the instruction to our foreign minister and told him ‘You will immediately handle the persona non grata declaration of these 10 ambassadors,'” Erdogan said during a demonstration in the western city of Eskisehir.

He added: “They will recognize, understand and know Turkey. The day they do not know or understand Turkey, they will leave. “

The diplomats, which also include ambassadors from the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and New Zealand, were summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

Paris-born Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala speaks during an event in Istanbul prior to his arrest.FOLLETO / espanol – Getty Images

A declaration of persona non grata against a diplomat generally means that the person is prohibited from staying in their host country.

Kavala, 64, was acquitted last year of charges related to anti-government protests across the country in 2013, but the ruling was overturned and added to charges related to a 2016 coup attempt.

International observers and human rights groups have repeatedly called for the release of Kavala and the Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, who has been incarcerated since 2016. They say their imprisonment is based on political considerations. Ankara denies the claims and insists on the independence of the Turkish courts.

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The European Court of Human Rights called for Kavala’s release in 2019, saying his imprisonment acted to silence him and was not supported by evidence of a crime. The Council of Europe says it will start infringement procedures again in Turkey at the end of November if Kavala is not released.

Current US Ambassador David Satterfield was appointed in 2019. The nomination of his replacement, Jeff Flake, was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.

After Erdogan’s order was reported, the State Department said in a statement: “We are aware of these reports and are seeking clarity from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.”

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