Ankara, Oct 22 (IANS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to expel the Ambassadors of 10 countries, including the US, Germany and France, over their statement for the release of a detained businessman.
“I told our foreign minister that we cannot afford to host them in our country. Is it your place to teach such a lesson to Turkey?” Erdogan told journalists on Thursday.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned the Ambassadors over a joint statement calling for the release of jailed activist and businessman Osman Kavala.
In a joint statement on Monday, the Ambassadors said: “Together, the embassies of Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United States of America believe a just and speedy resolution to his case must be in line with Turkey’s international obligations and domestic laws.
“Noting the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on the matter, we call for Turkey to secure his urgent release.”
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.
Erdogan earlier accused Kavala of being the “Turkish leg” of US billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
“Why do these 10 Ambassadors make this statement? Those who defend this leftover of Soros are striving to get him released,” Erdogan said on Thursday.