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Turkey to expel envoys of 10 countries, including US, for seeking release of activist Osman Kavala

In February 2020, a Turkey court acquitted Kavala on the charge of ties to the anti-government Gezi Park protests in 2013

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Turkey to expel envoys of 10 countries, including US, for seeking release of activist Osman Kavala

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 23 October ordered the expulsion of ambassadors of as many as 10 countries for seeking the release of human rights activist Osman Kavala.

The 10 countries are Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the US.

The order for expulsion has come following a joint appeal by the 10 countries for the release of Osman Kavala, who has been lodged in jail for four years now.

Later in the day, on the orders of President Erdogan, the ten ambassadors were summoned to the Turkey foreign ministry, and later Erdogan threatened to expel them from the country over the violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

“I instructed our Foreign Minister to immediately take measures to ensure that these ten ambassadors are declared personae non-gratae,” Erdogan said in a public address in the city of Eskisehir, broadcast on his Twitter.

It should be noted that Kavala is a well-known Turkish businessman and human rights activist who is the founder of the Anadolu Kultur foundation, promoting ethnic and religious minority projects, particularly the reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian populations and the peaceful resolution of the Kurdish issue.

In February 2020, a Turkey court acquitted Kavala on the charge of ties to the anti-government Gezi Park protests in 2013.

However, on the same day, the Istanbul prosecutor’s office issued a new warrant which re-arrested Kavala on charges of ties to the failed 2016 coup.

The Council of Europe, the continent’s top human rights watchdog, has issued a final warning to Turkey to comply with a 2019 European Court of Human Rights order to release Kavala pending trial. If Turkey fails to do so by its next meeting on 30 November- 2 December, the Strasbourg-based council could vote to launch its first disciplinary proceedings against Ankara.

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