Turkey Set To Expel US And Other Western Diplomats

The Hill reports:

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Saturday that he had called on his foreign minister to banish 10 ambassadors from Western countries, including the United States, after they called for the “urgent release” of a Turkish philanthropist.

“I gave the necessary order to our foreign minister and said what must be done: These 10 ambassadors must be declared persona non grata at once. You will sort it out immediately,” Erdoğan said during a speech on Saturday.

Earlier this week, ambassadors from the embassies from 10 countries called on a resolution for the case of Osman Kavala, who has been in prison for several years after facing charges both in 2013 and 2016 for allegedly backing the 2013 protests financially.

From the US embassy in Turkey:

Today marks four years since the ongoing detention of Osman Kavala began. The continuing delays in his trial, including by merging different cases and creating new ones after a previous acquittal, cast a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency in the Turkish judiciary system.

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.