Turkey withdraws threat to expel Dutch, nine other ambassadors

Turkish flags hanging inside a building in The Hague. Photo: DutchNews.nl
Turkish flags hanging inside a building in The Hague. Photo: DutchNews.nl

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has withdrawn a threat to expel the Dutch ambassador and the ambassadors of nine other countries after they urged Turkey to release jailed businessman and philanthropist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.

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.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation