The Turkish president said on Oct. 23 that he instructed the foreign minister to declare 10 ambassadors persona non grata over their statement on the ongoing case of businessman Osman Kavala.
The envoys who called for Kavala’s release “should either understand Turkey or they should leave,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a ceremony in the central Eskişehir province.
The embassies of the U.S., Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Norway and New Zealand had shared a statement on social media calling for Kavala’s release, claiming the case has cast a shadow over democracy and the rule of law in Turkey.
Earlier, the Turkish Foreign Ministry had summoned the ambassadors of these countries, accusing them of meddling in the Turkish judiciary.
Kavala was first arrested over criminal charges related to the 2013 Gezi protests, a small number of demonstrations in Istanbul that later transformed into nationwide protests which left eight protesters and a police officer dead.
The businessman was later remanded into custody by an Istanbul court as part of a probe into the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, with prosecutors accusing him of spying.
FETÖ orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 which left 251 people dead and nearly 2,200 wounded.
Turkey accuses FETÖ of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.