Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to order the Foreign Ministry to designate 10 ambassadors, including the ambassadors of the United States, Germany and France, as “persona non grata”, sparked numerous international reactions.
On the European level, Parliament Speaker David Sassoli criticized Erdogan’s decision, which was taken against the backdrop of a call by these countries to release the Turkish opposition figure, Osman Kavala.
“The expulsion of the ambassadors of 10 countries is an indication of the authoritarian tendency of the Turkish government,” Sassoli wrote on Twitter.
He added, “We will not be afraid. Freedom belongs to Osman Kavala.”
While the German Foreign Ministry confirmed that Berlin is holding consultations with other countries, following the Turkish President’s announcement of the right of ambassadors.
“We have taken into account the statements of Turkish President Erdogan,” the ministry wrote.
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry also indicated that its embassy in Ankara had not received a notification from the Turkish authorities.
“Our ambassador did nothing to warrant expulsion,” the ministry’s director of communications, Trud Macedi, told Reuters in an emailed statement, adding that Turkey was well aware of Norway’s view on the issue.
“We will continue to call on Turkey to comply with the democratic standards and rule of law that the country is committed to under the European Convention on Human Rights,” Macedi added.
While the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that it “won’t comment until it hears” anything officially through official channels.
And she continued, “New Zealand values its relationship with Turkey.”
The US State Department stressed that it is waiting for the Turkish side to clarify Ankara’s decision to expel the ambassadors of 10 countries, including the US ambassador.
A US State Department official said: “We have read these reports and are seeking clarification from the Turkish Foreign Ministry on this.”
The United States, France, Germany, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Finland called in a joint statement last Monday for Kavala’s release, saying that “his continued detention raises doubts about democracy and the rule of law in Turkey.”
The Turkish authorities accuse Osman Kavala, the dissident, of “seeking to destabilize Turkey,” and he will appear again before the court on November 26.
Kavala was targeted especially because he supported anti-government demonstrations in 2013 known as the Gezi movement, which targeted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while he was prime minister, and then accused of trying to “overthrow the government” during the failed coup attempt in 2016.
The Turkish government rejects repeated calls by European countries and the United States to release Kavala and says it “does not accept any interference in the affairs of the judiciary.”