The ten countries had called on Turkey to comply with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, and to release businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala, and the ambassadors were summoned to the Turkish Ministry on Tuesday for this purpose. In addition to the Netherlands, the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, New Zealand, the United States, France, and Germany have also signed an appeal for Kavala’s release.
They said in a joint statement Monday that they respect Turkey’s internal affairs. The statement can be seen as a bow to Erdogan. Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported, Monday, that Erdogan “welcomes” the countries’ statement, and that ambassadors may remain in their posts.
Among the ten ambassadors, the Dutch ambassador de Cuastnet. “The Netherlands is bound by Article 41 of the Vienna Convention,” she wrote in a caption on Twitter. Under Article 41 of this agreement, diplomats must abide by the laws and regulations of the host country and must not interfere in the internal affairs of that country.
Charity to the Turkish regime provoked angry reactions in the House of Representatives. “A painful show,” said VVD member Robin Brickelmans. Erdogan is barking and ten countries are retreating with their tail between their legs. I understand that we do not want to escalate the dispute with Turkey any further, but this response is a sign of weakness.”
Labor MP and former Turkey rapporteur in the EU Katy Perry spoke of an “embarrassing offer”. The ambassadors threatened with expulsion now declare that they do not interfere in Turkey’s internal affairs. The world is upside down.”
Involvement in the failed coup
Kavala has now been in prison for four years. Last year, he was acquitted after a life sentence for financing protests in Istanbul in 2013, but was promptly accused of involvement in the failed coup in 2016.
The European Court ordered Erdogan’s government, which activist Kavala has criticized, to release him in December 2019. The Strasbourg court says he is being held in order to silence him.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which oversees the implementation of human rights court rulings, announced last month that it would open criminal proceedings against Turkey if Kavala was not released before its next meeting on November 30. The consequence may be that voting and membership rights in the country can be suspended in the national organization that monitors democracy and human rights.
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