ANKARA, 23 Oct – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that he had instructed the Turkish Foreign Ministry to declare ambassadors of 10 countries, including the United States, who have called for the release of human rights activist Osman Kavala, persona non grata.
The embassies of 10 countries – Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United States – earlier called on Turkey to liberate Kavala. After that, the Turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed the call of the ambassadors of these countries, they were reminded of the need to observe the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
“I instructed our Foreign Minister to immediately take measures to ensure that these 10 ambassadors are declared persona non grata,” Erdogan said, speaking in the city of Eskisehir. The broadcast was conducted on Twitter by the Turkish leader.
Osman Kavala is a well-known Turkish human rights activist, founder of the cultural foundation Anadolu Kültür AŞ, which, in particular, supports projects of ethnic and religious minorities, often with an international focus, including reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian populations and the peaceful resolution of the Kurdish issue.
In February 2020, a Turkish court acquitted Kavala on charges of involvement in an attempted overthrow of the government in the 2013 Istanbul Gezi Park protests, but the Istanbul prosecutor’s office issued a new arrest warrant on the same day. New charges were brought against Kavala, this time for participating in a coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016.