European Parliament: Turkey’s expulsion of 10 ambassadors is a sign of authoritarian transformation

European Parliament President David Sassoli has described Turkey’s decision to designate ten ambassadors as “undesirable” as an indication of the Turkish government’s authoritarian shift.

Sassoli said on Twitter on Saturday that the decision “will not intimidate us”.

The President of the European Parliament renewed the call for the release of the Turkish human rights activist, Osman Kavala.

This came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today, Saturday, that he had ordered the Foreign Ministry to expel the ambassadors of 10 countries, including the United States, Germany and France, as “persona non grata”, for calling for the release of businessman Osman Kavala.

The Foreign Ministry summoned the 10 ambassadors on Tuesday over what it described as an “irresponsible statement” calling for a fair and speedy solution to the case of Kavala, who has been imprisoned since late 2017, accused of financing protests and participating in a failed coup, which Kavala denies.

“I have instructed our foreign minister to deal as soon as possible with declaring these ten ambassadors persona non grata,” Erdogan said during a visit to central Turkey, without announcing a specific date for that.

He stressed that these ambassadors should “know and understand Turkey,” saying that they “lack decency.” “They should leave the country if they know it again,” he added.

This comes as 10 Western countries (Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United States) in a statement issued Monday evening called for a “fair and speedy settlement of the case” of Osman Kavala, a Turkish businessman and activist imprisoned on trial for four years.

The Turkish authorities accuse the 64-year-old dissident, who is considered one of the most prominent figures in civil society, of seeking to destabilize Turkey.

And last week, the Turkish judiciary again refused to release Kavala, a businessman known for his charitable activities and very popular in civil society

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