The US Department of State had on Sunday commented on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks about expelling 10 ambassadors of Western countries, including the US.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday he had ordered the Foreign Ministry to expel the United States ambassador and nine other Western ambassadors as punishment for the countries calling for the release of Turkish businessman Osman Kavala.
“We have seen these statements and we are asking for clarification from the Turkish Foreign Ministry,” US State Department Spokesman Ned Price said in a press release.
In a joint statement issued on October 18, the ambassadors of Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, New Zealand and the United States called for a just and speedy resolution of Kavala’s case and for his “immediate release.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry subsequently summoned the 10 ambassadors and described the statement as “irresponsible.”
“The expulsion of ten ambassadors is a sign of the authoritarian drift of the Turkish government. We will not be intimidated. Freedom for Osman Kavala,” European Parliament President David Sassoli said on Twitter.
Osman Kavala has been arrested numerous times since 2017, on charges related to involvement with the Gülen Movement and the 2016 coup d’etat attempt.