Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday said he instructed the Turkish foreign minister to declare ambassadors of 10 countries to Turkey persona non grata after their statement calling for the release of Osman Kavala.
“I have ordered our foreign minister to declare these 10 ambassadors as persona non grata as soon as possible,” Erdoğan said, referring to a term used in diplomacy which signifies the first step before expulsion.
Kavala, a Turkish businessperson, has been imprisoned for four years now over his alleged role in the 2013 Gezi Park protests and subsequent riots.
In a statement, the ministry said that “a group of ambassadors in Ankara, who issued a joint statement last night, contrary to diplomatic practices, regarding an ongoing case in our country, were summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this morning.”
“It has been conveyed that this limitless statement regarding a legal process carried out by the independent judiciary is unacceptable, this statement that attempts to politicize the legal processes and put pressure on the Turkish judiciary is rejected, and that this statement is also contrary to the rule of law, democracy and independence of the judiciary that the ambassadors claim to defend,” it said.
“As recorded in our constitution, it was emphasized that Turkey is a democratic state of law that respects human rights, and it was reminded that the Turkish judiciary would not be affected by such irresponsible statements,” it added.
Ankara also pointed out that the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) are often ignored and not implemented, saying that focusing only on cases related to Turkey to keep the Kavala case on the agenda at all times is “an insincere and double-standard approach” and that the ambassadors had been warned to “stay within the responsibilities of their duties.”