Erdogan declares 10 Western ambassadors persona non grata – News Couple

Erdogan declares 10 Western ambassadors persona non grata

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered the announcement of ten Western ambassadors Unwanted personrisking a new downturn in Turkey’s deeply strained relations with Europe and the United States.

In a move that could torpedo Ankara’s latest efforts to mend ties with Washington and the European Union, and inflict more pain on the already beleaguered lira, the Turkish leader appeared to be doubling down on his earlier threat to expel envoys, including the ambassadors of the United States and Germany. .

Erdogan indicated that diplomats would have to leave the country after signing a joint declaration, published on Monday, calling for the release of imprisoned businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala.

“I gave the order to our foreign minister and said what to do: these ten ambassadors should be declared persona non grata at once. You will settle it at once,” he said in a speech in northwest Eskisehir.

“They should know and understand Turkey,” he added. “The day they don’t know and understand Turkey, they will leave.”

The joint statement of the 10 ambassadors – from Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United States – called for a speedy and fair solution to the case of Kavala, who has been behind bars for the past four years on various charges of seeking to overthrow the government.

Human rights groups, opposition parties and even figures within Erdogan’s ruling party have described the accusations as flimsy and politically motivated. In 2019, the European Court of Human Rights ordered his release.

But Kavala was caught up in a series of Kafkaesque trials. Last year, he was acquitted of charges that he masterminded the 2013 Gezi Park protests, only to be re-arrested hours later.

Kavala, 64, has become a symbol of Erdogan’s sweeping crackdown following the violent 2016 coup attempt. Some Western countries have championed his cause.

But Erdogan stressed that he is a “terrorist”. Speaking on Thursday in response to the joint statement of the 10 ambassadors, he said they would not release “bandits, murderers and terrorists” in their countries.

The decision risks further hurting the already faltering Turkish lira, which has tumbled through a series of record lows in recent weeks amid investor concerns about Erdogan’s interference in monetary policy and his broader management of the country’s $765 billion economy.

On Friday, the lira hit a new low of 9.66 against the dollar after the central bank on Thursday surprised markets by cutting its key interest rate at a time of rising inflation and growing financial instability.

In response to Erdogan’s remarks, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the country’s main opposition leader, accused the Turkish president of acting not in the national interest but of “making fake justifications” for the state of the economy.

Soner Cagaptay, a senior fellow at The Washington Institute, a think-tank, called the decision “crazy, even by Turkish standards.”

He said: I think [Erdogan] He absorbed the fact that the Turkish economy had worsened beyond repair. Instead of trying to make things better, he’s trying to blame the West.”

The embassies of Germany, the United States, Sweden, the Netherlands and Canada in Ankara did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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