Sunday, November 28

After working for imprisoned Kavala: Erdogan declares ambassadors to be undesirable persons


Status: 23.10.2021 5:01 p.m.

Turkey has made its threat: President Erdogan has the ambassadors of Germany, the USA and other states declared undesirable persons. The background is their commitment to the imprisoned activist Kavala.

In the dispute over the imprisoned Turkish human rights activist and cultural promoter Osman Kavala, Head of State Recep Tayyip Erdogan had the German ambassador, the US ambassador and eight other ambassadors declared “undesirable persons”. Erdogan said he had instructed the Foreign Ministry to declare the diplomats “persona non grata” “as soon as possible”. In international diplomacy, classification as “persona non grata” is usually followed by expulsion.

Turkey hired diplomats

At the beginning of the week, the ambassadors issued a joint appeal for the release of Kavala. He has been in prison for four years without a conviction. As a result, Turkey summoned the ambassadors and threatened to expel them. Ankara described the countries’ call to release Kavala as “unacceptable”.

The human rights activist was originally arrested in 2017 on charges of funding and organizing the anti-government Gezi protests in Istanbul in 2013. In February last year, a court acquitted him of the charge.

Kavala was released from prison after two and a half years in prison, but arrested again a few hours later – this time in connection with the attempted coup against Erdogan in 2016 and allegations of espionage. He always denied the allegations.

In January of this year, an appeals court overturned the first acquittal. If convicted of espionage charges, Kavala faces life imprisonment. Kavala’s next trial is scheduled for November 26th.

The Council of Europe was already threatening

The Council of Europe, of which Turkey is a member, warned last month that action would be taken against Ankara if Kavala was not released before the organization’s next meeting on November 30th. Turkey has so far ignored the judgment, although as a member of the Council of Europe it is actually obliged to implement it.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) also ordered his release in December 2019 and has since issued repeated warnings.

Erdogan wants the German ambassador and 9 other ambassadors to be classified as undesirable

Karin Senz, ARD Istanbul, October 23, 2021 4:57 p.m.


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