The German establishment reacted to the statement of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, October 23, announcing ambassadors from 10 countries persona non grata.
“We have taken note of the statements of Turkish President Erdogan,” the Zeit newspaper quoted the statement of the German Foreign Ministry. The ministry also noted that it is actively consulting with nine other affected countries. “
Vice-President of the Bundestag Claudia Roth said that the Turkish president is taking more and more active steps against critics of his policies and called for sanctions.
“We must recognize the authoritarian course of Erdogan at the international level, impose sanctions and stop the export of weapons to Turkey,” she said.
The head of the Bundestag Foreign Policy Committee, Norbert Röttgen, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that the diplomatic scandal had turned into an “incredible foreign policy escalation.” According to him, such actions of the Turkish leader separate the republic from Europe and the West.
Earlier, on October 23, President Erdogan instructed the Turkish Foreign Ministry to declare persona non grata ambassadors of 10 countries who called for the release of human rights activist Osman Kavala. Earlier, the embassies of the USA, Canada, Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand made a call to release the human rights defender. After that, the Turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed the summons of the ambassadors of the listed countries. States called for compliance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Osman Kavala is a well-known Turkish human rights activist, founder of the cultural foundation Anadolu Kültür AŞ, which supports, in particular, projects of religious and ethnic minorities, often with an international focus, including reconciliation between the Armenian and Turkish populations, as well as the peaceful solution of the Kurdish issue.
In February 2020, a Turkish court acquitted a human rights defender on charges of involvement in an attempted overthrow of the government in the protests in Istanbul’s Gezi Park in 2013, but on the same day, the Istanbul prosecutor’s office issued a new arrest warrant. Kavala was facing new charges, this time with involvement in a coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016.