Action against ambassador in Turkey: “You can come with cannons”

Status: 10/24/2021 12:39 p.m.

The Turkish Interior Minister Soylu has defended the decision to declare ten foreign ambassadors as undesirable persons with sharp words. German politicians condemn the move – only one party criticizes otherwise.

The dispute over the case of the activist and patron of culture Osman Kavala, imprisoned in Turkey, has reached a new level of escalation. On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a total of ten ambassadors from other countries, including Germany, to be undesirable people. His interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, defended this decision.

“They can come with cannons or with rifles – and not just ten ambassadors. Even if they came here with all the ambassadors in the world, they could not give a hair to the Turkish people,” said Soylu at an event on Saturday evening.

Criticism of the Turkish government comes from the opposition leader and head of the CHP party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu. On Twitter, he accused Erdogan of not having the interests of his country in mind. He wanted to divert attention from the desperate economic situation in Turkey, which he was responsible for. He should take a look at the people’s refrigerator – they would have nothing to eat, wrote Kilicdaroglu.

Kavala in prison for around four years

The entrepreneur Kavala has been in Turkish custody for around four years without a verdict against him. The now 64-year-old was originally arrested because he was alleged to have helped initiate and partly financed the Gezi protests in Istanbul in 2013.

He was initially acquitted of this charge and released after two and a half years in prison, only to be arrested again just hours later – this time in connection with the attempted coup against Erdogan in 2016 and espionage allegations. The acquittal has now also been lifted. Kavala is now facing life imprisonment.

Ambassadors have to leave Turkey

International politics had repeatedly pushed for Kavala to be released. The European Court of Human Rights also ruled in 2019 that the activist should be released from custody. A judgment that Turkey ignores to this day.

At the beginning of the week, those ambassadors who had now been declared “Persona non grata” again campaigned for Kavala in a joint declaration. Turkey’s dealings with the businessman cast “a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency in the Turkish judicial system”. Then she called the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

On Saturday Erdogan then went a step further. The ambassadors, as undesirable persons, now have to leave Turkey within a certain period of time, according to the Foreign Office usually within 48 hours. In addition to Germany and the USA, France, Canada, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden are also affected.

AfD criticizes the Foreign Office

In Germany, Erdogan’s decision aroused massive criticism. The FDP called it “unwise” and “undiplomatic”, the Greens “completely out of the question” and the CDU spoke of an “unbelievable escalation in foreign policy”.

The AfD, on the other hand, sees misconduct on the part of the Foreign Office and spoke of “political activism instead of diplomacy”. Erdogan had “pulled the rip cord because of the interference in his country’s internal affairs,” said the chairman of the AfD parliamentary group in the Foreign Affairs Committee, Petr Bystron. Now “the relationship between Ankara and Berlin has reached a new low”.

With information from Filiz Kükrekol, ARD-Studio Istanbul

Ambassador undesirable: Turkish interior minister is verbally upgrading

Filiz Kükrekol, ARD Istanbul, October 24, 2021 11:07 am

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