Erdogan Says Crisis With Ambassadors Declared Personae Non Gratae Resolved
16:49 GMT 25.10.2021 (Updated: 17:30 GMT 25.10.2021)
Earlier, on Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had instructed the country's Foreign Ministry to declare the ambassadors of 10 countries personae non gratae over their calls to release human rights activist Osman Kavala.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that a crisis with several diplomats declared personae non gratae has been resolved after their countries' embassies declared non-interference in Turkish affairs.
Now that the ambassadors appeared to have taken "a step back", they will not be expelled over their appeal to release Osman Kavala, the Turkish president said. He also voiced hopes that the diplomats would be more careful with their statements about Turkey in the future.
"The ambassadors of some countries directly targeted our sovereignty. Such a statement is a great insult to our judges, lawyers. The Turkish court is independent and does not accept anyone's orders. Therefore, it is our duty to respond to such an insult. We do not intend to create a crisis, but we want to protect rights, interests and pride of our country. And today the situation has turned back with the statements of the embassies," Erdogan said.
Erdogan warned that the ambassadors of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the US would be expelled from the country after their joint statement in defence of the human rights activist released earlier last week. The Turkish president said that the diplomats from these countries would be declared personae non gratae over the violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.
Erdogan's move to expel the diplomats earlier prompted concerns from the leader of the liberal Innovation Party, Ozturk Yilmaz, who said it could have "severe consequences" for the country.
"It's a tough decision. We will wait and see if Erdogan abides by his decision, then there would be severe consequences for Turkey as well. Let's wait and see. I hope reason will prevail in these disputes", Yilmaz said.
However, shortly after Erdogan threatened to expel the ambassadors, several embassies, including that of the US, released statements reiterating their commitment to non-interference in the internal affairs of Turkey, which Erdogan welcomed, according to Turkish state news agency Anadolu.
Kavala, in whose defence the Western countries' ambassadors spoke, is a human rights activist who promotes ethnic and religious minority projects. In February 2020, he was acquitted of a charge of ties to the 2013 anti-government Gezi Park protests, but was then immediately re-arrested on charges of involvement in the failed 2016 coup.