Turkey to Expel US and Nine Additional Envoys: Erdogan
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Turkey to Expel US and Nine Additional Envoys: Erdogan

ERBIL — The US ambassador to Ankara is said to be expelled alongside nine additional envoys of other countries for demanding the release of philanthropist and civil activist Osman Kavala, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.

"I gave the necessary order to our foreign minister and said what must be done: these 10 ambassadors must be declared persona non grata (undesirable) at once. You will sort it out immediately," Erdogan said in a speech in the northwestern city of Eskisehir.

"They will know and understand Turkey. The day they do not know and understand Turkey, they will leave," the Turkish leader added.

On 18 October, the ambassadors of Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, New Zealand and the United States issued a joint statement on and called for a just and speedy resolution to Kavala's case, and for his "urgent release".

The Turkish Foreign Ministry soon responded to the joint statement and called them "irresponsible" while summoning the ambassadors.

Kavala has been accused of financing nationwide protests in 2013 and involvement in a failed coup in 2016, since when he has been behind bars. However, his latest trial continues and he denies the charges.

The embassies of the United States and France, the White House, the US State Department are yet to comment on the Turkish president's decision in regards to the western ambassadors.

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