Saturday 23 October 2021 - 22:43

Erdogan Threatens to Expel 10 Western Ambassadors

Story Code : 960229
Erdogan Threatens to Expel 10 Western Ambassadors
The move follows a statement from the envoys demanding the release of a prominent philanthropist jailed since 2017.

"I gave the instruction to our foreign minister and said You will immediately handle the persona non grata declaration of these 10 ambassadors," Erdogan said in a speech on Saturday in Eskisehir, western Turkey.

The outburst seemed to indicate a return to frosty relations with the West, following a brief thaw that analysts have attributed to Erdogan’s concern for his country’s stumbling economy.

The envoys, including those from the seven European nations, Canada and New Zealand, as well as the United States, released a letter earlier this week urging the Turkish government to abide by a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights and release the philanthropist, Osman Kavala, who has been held since 2017 despite not having been convicted of a crime.

The US administration was the driving force behind the letter, in keeping with the president’s policy of publicly calling out states over human rights violations.

A declaration of persona non grata typically means the individual must leave the host country. However, the ambassadors were not immediately given a deadline for leaving, and it remained unclear whether they would be expelled.