Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has instructed his foreign minister to remove ambassadors from ten countries, including Germany and the United States, who had requested the release of a detained civil society leader.
The envoys released an extraordinary joint statement on Monday, stating that the continuing incarceration of Osman Kavala, a Parisian-born philanthropist and campaigner, had “cast a shadow” over Turkey.
The United States, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden demanded a “fair and expeditious settlement to (Kavala’s) case.”
Kavala has been in prison without a conviction since 2017, and is facing a slew of allegations stemming from anti government rallies in 2013 and a botched military coup in 2016.
Turkey has been handed a last warning by the Council of Europe, the continent’s top human rights watchdog, to comply with a 2019 European Court of Human Rights ruling to free Kavala awaiting trial.