Turkey to expel envoys of 10 countries, including US, for seeking release of activist Osman Kavala

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan&nbsp

Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday ordered the expulsion of ambassadors of as many as 10 countries for seeking the release of human rights activist Osman Kavala.

Among the 10 countries are Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the US.

The order for expulsion has come following a joint appeal by the 10 countries for the release of Osman Kavala, who has been lodged in jail for four years now.

Later in the day, on the orders of President Erdogan, the ten ambassadors were summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry, and later Erdogan threatened to expel them from the country over the violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

“I instructed our Foreign Minister to immediately take measures to ensure that these ten ambassadors are declared personae non-gratae,” Erdogan said in a public address in the city of Eskisehir, broadcast on his Twitter.

It should be noted that Kavala is a well-known Turkish businessman and human rights activist who is the founder of the Anadolu Kultur foundation, promoting ethnic and religious minority projects, particularly the reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian populations and the peaceful resolution of the Kurdish issue.

In February 2020, a Turkish court acquitted Kavala on the charge of ties to the anti-government Gezi Park protests in 2013.

However, on the same day, the Istanbul prosecutor’s office issued a new warrant which re-arrested Kavala on charges of ties to the failed 2016 coup.

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