“I have asked our Foreign Minister to declare these ten ambassadors persona non grata as soon as possible,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday.
The term is used in diplomacy about the first step before deportation.
Erdogan has previously threatened to oust the ten ambassadors after they published one on Monday statement where they say that the imprisonment of Kavala casts a shadow over Turkey. All ten were summoned the next day on the carpet to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Imprisoned for four years
The Paris-born philanthropist and activist Osman Kavala (64) has been imprisoned without a sentence since 2017. He has become a symbol of Erdogan’s growing intolerance of critics.
In their statement, the United States, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden call for a speedy and fair end to the Kavala case.
Kavala, a businessman, was once imprisoned for his alleged role in the 2013 demonstrations and uprising in Gezi Park.
The statement demanding his release was published on the website of the Norwegian Embassy in Ankara. It refers to a decision of the European Court of Human Rights which has accused Turkey of violating the human rights convention by keeping Kavala imprisoned.
– We ask Turkey to ensure that he is released immediately, it is said.
In the statement, the countries also claim that the case against Kavala “casts a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and the openness of the Turkish judiciary”.
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The demonstrations against the plans to build a shopping center in Gezi Park in Istanbul in 2013 gradually developed into a larger protest movement.
The prosecution in the trial claimed that the protesters wanted to control the Turkish government, which the defendants rejected.
Kavala was acquitted last year of the charges of participating in the demonstrations, but was remanded in custody immediately after the acquittal.
The renowned activist and philanthropist has thus been imprisoned for four years, without being convicted.
Immediately after the acquittal, he was charged again with espionage and involvement in the coup attempt in 2016.