The Turkish president reiterated on October 23 his desire to expel, “as quickly as possible”, the ten ambassadors, including those from France, Germany and the United States, who demanded the release of the opponent Osman Kavala. An attempt to divert attention from the catastrophic economic situation, comments the opposition press.
In a speech on Saturday 23 October, during a visit to Eskisehir, in central Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed his desire to expel ten foreign ambassadors, including those from France, Germany and the United States. United. He accuses them of a text written jointly and calling for the release of the businessman and patron Osman Kavala, imprisoned for four years without trial.
Bête noire of the Turkish far-right due to his support for cultural and academic projects focusing on minority identities in Turkey, in particular Armenian and Kurdish, Kavala is officially accused of “attempting to overthrow the government” and of “ spying”. In February 2020, he was acquitted alongside fifteen other people. Before being arrested again a few hours later.
“Kavala, Kavala, they only have that word in their mouths! Who do you think you are? You cannot give orders to the great Turkey, we are not a tribal state! I gave orders for these ten ambassadors to be designated persona non grata ”, said President Erdogan, quoted by the daily New Contract who welcomes this response to “the insolence of the ten ambassadors”.
Three days earlier, returning from a series of visits to Africa, the Turkish president had already called for the expulsion of the ambassadors. But the foreign ministry, surprised and worried, would have tried to put it off and convince the head of state to change his mind, reports the daily One day. The embassies concerned claim, however, that they have not yet received an official request from the Turkish authorities.
A way to divert attention
The opposition quickly criticized the announcement: “This decision is not made in the