Turkey withdraws threat to expel Dutch, nine other ambassadors
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has withdrawn a threat to expel the Dutch ambassador and the ambassadors of nine other countries after they urged Turkey to release jailed businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala.
Turkish media and international news agency AFP said on Monday evening that Erdogan had changed his position after the ambassadors ‘promised to no longer interfere in domestic affairs’.
The Netherlands, the US and several of the other countries involved in the diplomatic spat had issued statements in which they said they complied with the Vienna Convention.
In response to questions regarding the Statement of October 18, the Netherlands notes that it maintains compliance with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
— Marjanne de Kwaasteniet (@MdeKwaasteniet) October 25, 2021
Article 41 covers respecting the laws and regulations of the host country and stipulates there should be no interference with domestic affairs.
The initial statement by the 10 ambassadors – the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the US – called for a fast and fair resolution to the case of Kavala.
His continued detention ‘cast a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency in the Turkish judiciary system,’ the statement said. Kavala has been in jail for the past four years, charged with involvement in protests and seeking to overthrow the government.
Although Erdogan had said he would call on officials to expel the ambassadors, the Dutch foreign ministry said it had not had any official notification.
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