Erdogan has ordered the expulsion of ten diplomats from Turkey.

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Erdogan has ordered the expulsion of ten diplomats from Turkey.

Ten foreign ambassadors who urged for the release of a jailed benefactor have been labeled “persona non grata” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The envoys, which include officials from the United States, France, and Germany in Ankara, signed a statement earlier this week calling for an end to the case of Osman Kavala, a businessman and philanthropist who has been imprisoned since 2017 despite not having been convicted of any crime.

Mr Erdogan called the declaration “impudence” and said he had ordered the diplomats to be declared unwelcome.

During a rally in the western city of Eskisehir, Mr Erdogan said, “I gave the directive to our foreign minister and said, ‘You will immediately handle the persona non grata declaration of these 10 ambassadors.”

“They will recognize, comprehend, and know Turkey,” he continued. They’ll leave the day they don’t know or comprehend Turkey.” The diplomats were summoned to the foreign ministry on Tuesday, and included ambassadors from the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and New Zealand.

When a diplomat is declared persona non grata, he or she is usually barred from returning to their home country.

Last year, Mr Kavala, 64, was acquitted of charges related to widespread anti-government protests in 2013, but the decision was overturned and he was charged with a 2016 coup attempt.

Mr Kavala and Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, who has been imprisoned since 2016, have been frequently asked for their release by international observers and human rights organizations.

They claim that their detention is due to political concerns. Ankara denies the allegations and maintains that Turkish courts are independent.

In 2019, the European Court of Human Rights called for Mr Kavala’s release, claiming that his detention was used to silence him and was not based on evidence of a crime.

If Mr Kavala is not released by the end of November, the Council of Europe said it would initiate infringement actions against Turkey.

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