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Turkey threatens to expel 10 Western ambassadors

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept 21, 2021 at UN headquarters. (EDUARDO MUNOZ / POOL PHOTO VIA AP)

ANKARA – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday threatened to expel the ambassadors of ten western countries 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 the plane during his flight from Africa to Turkey.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned on Tuesday the ambassadors of ten countries, including the United States, Germany and France, over a joint statement calling for the release of jailed activist and businessman Osman Kavala

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned the ambassadors of ten countries, including the United States, Germany and France, over a joint statement calling for the release of jailed activist and businessman Osman Kavala.

The ambassadors said on Monday that “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.

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Erdogan earlier accused Kavala of being the “Turkish leg” of US billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

“Why do these ten ambassadors make this statement? Those who defend this leftover of Soros are striving to get him released,” Erdogan stated.

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