Scandal about expulsion of the ambassador: German politicians disagree with Erdogan

Scandal about the expulsion of the ambassador
German politicians disagree with Erdogan

The dispute has been defused, the ambassadors of Western states are not deported. The Turkish press celebrates the president accordingly. German politicians, on the other hand, disagree with Erdogan. The West will continue to demand the implementation of all international judgments, it is said.

Several German foreign politicians have rejected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s assessment that his country had prevailed in the dispute over the threatened expulsion of the ambassador. “The West will continue to demand that Turkey implement all international judgments. This also applies to the Kavala judgment of the Human Rights Court,” said the Union’s foreign policy spokesman, Johann Wadephul, to the Reuters news agency. “The Council of Europe has set a deadline for November here. There must be no wobbling on our part.”

The background to this is that the ambassadors of Germany, the USA and eight other Western countries had demanded the release of the human rights activist Osman Kavala, who has been imprisoned since 2017. Erdogan then announced their deportation, but withdrew it on Monday after the embassies had declared that they would adhere to diplomatic conventions and not interfere in the internal affairs of a host country.

The external experts from the Greens and the FDP also see no retreat from the West. “The unjustified triumphant posturing from Ankara does not help to smooth things over,” said the foreign policy spokesman for the Greens, Omid Nouripour. “And it certainly doesn’t stop us from consistently advocating the rule of law and human rights. Also for the rights of Osman Kavala.” The FPD’s foreign policy spokesman, Bijan Djir-Sarai, made a similar statement. “Interfering in the internal affairs of Turkey would be wrong. Nevertheless, the international community must not remain silent on questions of human and civil rights in Turkey. That is not interference, but the necessary commitment to values,” he said.

Human Rights Court ordered release

The Turkish President had waived the previously announced expulsion of ten ambassadors after the messages of “defamation of our country and our nation stepped back,” he said. The US embassy and several other Western representations had previously announced that they had adhered to a diplomatic convention. “The United States has determined that it complies with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” the US embassy tweeted. The other messages expressed themselves similarly.

The German government had also emphasized that the criticism of the Turkish approach was legitimate because it was only demanding the implementation of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights and thus an international ruling. Kavala has been in custody since 2017, without conviction. The human rights court in Strasbourg had already ordered his release in 2019.

Turkish press praises Erdogan

In contrast, Erdogan sees himself as the winner of the dispute – and is celebrated by the Turkish press. Erdogan had given the “immoderate ambassadors” and their allies at home a “historical lesson in sovereignty”, wrote the newspaper “Sabah” under the title “The ambassadors must respect our rights”.

The newspaper “Karar” interpreted the message from the ambassadors as a “turnaround from the mistake”. In the crisis “reason triumphed”. “Hürriyet” warned the ambassador: “That shouldn’t happen again”. The President had given the diplomats a clear message. The “Cumhuriyet”, on the other hand, is much more critical: in the end, the victims are the people of Turkey. The diplomatic dispute had caused the lira, a currency that was already struggling, to fall further in value.

Independent commentator and journalist Murat Yetkin said he believed the incident damaged the reputation of both the embassies and Osman Kavala himself. Now this will certainly not be released. Kavala is the “biggest loser” of this crisis.

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