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Erdogan says 10 Western envoys ‘persona non grata’

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Ankara, Oct 24, 2021- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he instructed Foreign Minister to declare the Ambassadors of 10 countries, including the US, Germany and France, as “persona non grata” after they made a joint statement for the release of a jailed businessman.

“I gave the necessary order to our foreign minister. I said what must be done. These 10 Ambassadors must be declared persona non grata. You will sort out immediately,” Xinhua news agency quoted the President as saying on Saturday.

On October 19, the Foreign Ministry summoned the Ambassadors over a joint statement calling for the release of activist and businessman Osman Kavala.

In a joint statement a day earlier, the Ambassadors said: “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.

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

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