RAnya heads of diplomatic missions demanded the release of a Turkish businessman and activist from prison. In response, Erdogan instructed to declare them persona non grata. Today, the ambassadors assured that they will not interfere in Turkey’s affairs
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
The ambassadors of ten countries in Turkey made a new statement and announced their commitment to the article of the Vienna Convention, which obliges them not to interfere in the internal affairs of the state. After that, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan considered that the diplomats had thus “taken a step back” and would continue to be more careful in their statements. Earlier, the heads of diplomatic missions demanded that the Turkish authorities release businessman Osman Kavala, who is being held in prison, believing that he is being held there for political reasons. This provoked a diplomatic scandal.
The new statement of the head of ten diplomatic missions in Turkey was posted on Twitter. In it, they stated that they were acting in accordance with article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. It states that diplomatic staff are “obliged to respect the laws and regulations of the host State.”
“They are also obliged not to interfere in the internal affairs of this state,” the convention says.
Ten embassies participated in the demarche: USA, Germany, France, Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
In response to the new message from the ambassadors, Erdogan said that they “learned a lesson”. “We believe that these ambassadors, who have fulfilled their obligations under article 41 of the Vienna Convention, will now be more careful in their statements,” the president said (quoted by Daily Sabah).
In his opinion, this shows that the heads of diplomatic missions “took a step back from slandering our country”. The President added that anyone who “does not respect the independence” of Turkey cannot stay in the country.
“The Turkish judicial system does not accept orders from anyone. It was my duty as the head of state to give an appropriate response to this disrespect towards our judges,” Erdogan continued.
The scandal broke out after on Monday, October 18, the ambassadors of ten countries published an appeal to the Turkish authorities. They demanded the immediate release of businessman and activist Osman Kavala, who has been in prison since 2017. He was charged with protests against the reconstruction of Gezi Park in 2013 and an attempted coup in 2016. During the trial, some charges were dropped from Kavala, others were brought, but the court did not make any decision on his case.
“The ongoing delays in the judicial process, including by combining various cases and creating new ones after the previous acquittal, cast a shadow on respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency of the Turkish judicial system,” the ambassadors said.
After that, Erdogan instructed the Foreign Ministry to declare the diplomats persona non grata as soon as possible. The President stated that the ambassadors should “either understand Turkey or leave the country.”
The US State Department then demanded an explanation from Ankara.
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