Instructions given to declare 10 envoys persona non grata: Turkish president

Ambassadors who gave remarks on Kavala case 'should either understand Turkey or they should leave,' says Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Instructions given to declare 10 envoys persona non grata: Turkish president

The Turkish president said on Saturday that he instructed the foreign minister to declare 10 ambassadors persona non grata over their statement on the ongoing case of businessman Osman Kavala.

The envoys who called for Kavala's release "should either understand Turkey or they should leave," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a ceremony in the central Eskisehir province. "It is not a tribal state as you might consider. This is Turkey."

The embassies of the US, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Norway and New Zealand had shared a statement on social media calling for Kavala's release, claiming the case has cast a shadow over democracy and the rule of law in Turkey.

Earlier, the Turkish Foreign Ministry had summoned the ambassadors of these countries, accusing them of meddling in the Turkish judiciary.

Kavala was first arrested over criminal charges related to the 2013 Gezi protests, a small number of demonstrations in Istanbul that later transformed into nationwide protests which left eight protesters and a police officer dead.

The businessman was later remanded into custody by an Istanbul court as part of a probe into the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, with prosecutors accusing him of spying.

The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 which left 251 people dead and nearly 2,200 wounded.

Turkey accuses FETO of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Speaking on the economy, Erdogan said: "We want to turn this global crisis into a historic opportunity with an economic policy that will encourage investment, increase production and strengthen employment."

He said Turkey is rapidly advancing toward becoming a production hub for international companies. "Our doors and hearts are open to everyone who will invest in our country, bring technology, contribute to our exports, employment and growth," he added.

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Hüseyin Demir

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