Saturday 23 October 2021
Dispute over Kavala escalates
Erdogan: German ambassador undesirable person
At the beginning of the week, several ambassadors in Turkey, including the representative of Germany, protested against the detention of the cultural sponsor Kavala. President Erdogan sees this as a provocation. Now he declares the Germans, like several other diplomats, undesirable people. That should soon have consequences.
Turkey declares the ambassadors of Germany, the USA and several other states to be undesirable persons. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had instructed the Foreign Ministry to do so. In international diplomacy, classification as “persona non grata” is usually followed by expulsion. The background to this is the dispute over the imprisoned cultural patron Osman Kavala.
In a joint appeal earlier this week, the ambassadors called for the release of the cultural promoter Kavala, who had been in prison for four years without conviction. As a result, Turkey summoned the ambassadors and threatened to expel them. Ankara described the countries’ call to release the cultural sponsor Kavala as “unacceptable”.
The human rights activist was originally arrested on charges of funding and organizing the anti-government Gezi protests in Istanbul in 2013. In February last year, a court acquitted him of the charge. Kavala was released from prison after two and a half years in prison, but arrested again a few hours later – this time in connection with the attempted coup against Erdogan in 2016 and allegations of espionage.
In January this year, an appeals court overturned the first acquittal. If convicted of espionage charges, Kavala faces life imprisonment. Kavala’s next trial is scheduled for November 26th.