Erdogan steps back from threat to expel 10 foreign envoys

Erdogan steps back from threat to expel 10 foreign envoys

Ankara, Oct 26 (IANS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stepped back from his threat to declare the Ambassadors of 10 countries, including the US, Germany and France, as “persona non grata” after they made a joint statement for the release of a jailed businessman.

Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Erdogan welcomed a new statement by several Western embassies in Ankara, which noted that they abide by a diplomatic convention that stipulates not to interfere in a host country’s internal affairs, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Our intention is never to cause a crisis but to protect our honour, our pride, our sovereign rights. The new statement shows they have taken a step back from the slander against our country. They will be more careful now,” President said.

“It is the duty of the head of state to give the necessary response to this disrespect towards our judicial members,” he stated.

The US and several other embassies on Monday issued similar statements, saying they respected a UN convention that required diplomats not to interfere in the host country’s domestic affairs.

The diplomatic crises erupted last week after the embassies of the US, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden in Ankara made a joint statement on October 18 for the release of Osman Kavala.

Erdogan on October 21 threatened to expel the ambassadors of these 10 countries on the grounds that they interfere with Turkey’s judiciary.

Kavala was acquitted in 2020 of charges related to nationwide Gezi protests in 2013.

But his ruling was overturned and was combined with a probe into a coup attempt in 2016 on the accusation of spying.

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