Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not want to see ambassadors of ten countries in his country, declaring them persona non grata. All of them demanded the release of the imprisoned Osman Kavala.
Among those who fell out of favor are the heads of the diplomatic missions of France, Germany and the United States, as well as representatives of Canada, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand and Sweden. Earlier, in an open appeal, they all supported a Turkish businessman who is imprisoned for, according to Ankara, involvement in the coup attempt in 2016. The ambassadors of ten powers demanded to release him.
In response, according to the Daily Sabah, Erdogan instructed the Foreign Ministry to declare the ambassadors persona non grata:
“I instructed our foreign minister to declare these ten ambassadors persona non grata as soon as possible, they must either understand Turkey or leave the country.”
Osman Kavala, 64, had a publishing business. In addition, he actively participated in public life, supported cultural projects, and took part in the establishment of non-profit human rights organizations. Kavala is one of the founders of the Open Society Foundation, a grant-making network founded by George Soros.
In connection with the protests that swept across the country in November 2017, Kavala was arrested. He was accused of attempting a coup in 2016 and participating in the 2013 protests against the reconstruction of Istanbul’s Gezi Park. He was dismissed from charges of protests in 2020, but then returned. All this time, Kavala has been in prison.
Considering that there is insufficient evidence to charge Kavala, the European Court of Human Rights demanded his release in 2019. The ECHR believes that the businessman was arrested and held in custody for the sole purpose of keeping him silent.