The Turkish government has convened ambassadors from ten countries, including the United States, to protest a joint statement calling for the release of the philanthropist Osman Kavala, who had been released since November 2017 for his alleged involvement in the attempted coup in Turkey from 2016 sits behind bars. More than 250 people died in the process.
Diplomatic sources cited by the Turkish state news agency Anatolia have indicated that Ankara has called in the ambassadors of Germany, Canada, Denmark, the United States, Finland, France, Norway, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Sweden to protest against the Expressing statement. shared by the embassies of these countries via the social network Twitter.
The President of the Turkish Parliament, Mustafa Sentop, joined the criticism, as did the spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Omer Celik, who said that “the statements made by diplomats working in the country were about the Turkish judicial apparatus is unacceptable. “
With this in mind, the Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul stressed that “according to the constitution, no ambassador can give advice to the courts or order them to do anything”. “This assumption raises doubts about the rule of law,” he stressed. For his part, the head of the interior ministry, Suleyman Soylu, emphasized that Turkey was a democratic country.
In their statement, the ten countries highlighted that “it has been four years since Kavala’s arrest began” and condemned “the continuing delays in his trial, including the merging of different cases and the creation of new cases following an earlier acquittal Respect for democracy, the rule of law and the transparency of the Turkish judicial system in question. “
Therefore, they called for “a fair and speedy settlement of the case”, which will be “in accordance with international obligations and the national laws of Turkey”. “In view of the decisions of the ECHR on this matter, we ask Turkey to guarantee his early release,” they added in their statement.
A Turkish court ruled last week to extend the philanthropist’s term and ruled that the next hearing would be on November 26th. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in favor of Kavala in December 2019, highlighting that he had been arbitrarily detained in Turkey since November 2017.
Kavala, a well-known face of the opposition to the Turkish government, was acquitted in February 2020 in an alternative procedure for organizing and financing an environmental protest in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Before he could be released from custody, however, a new arrest warrant was issued against him for “espionage” and “attempt to circumvent the constitutional order”.