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Turkey summons 10 foreign ambassadors over call for activist’s release

The ministry said the joint statement regarding an ongoing judiciary case is "contrary to diplomatic practices and was unacceptable."

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Ankara: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned the ambassadors of 10 countries, including the United States, over a joint statement calling for the release of jailed activist and businessman Osman Kavala.

The ministry said the joint statement regarding an ongoing judiciary case is “contrary to diplomatic practices and was unacceptable.”

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The ambassadors’ move “attempts to politicize the legal processes, put pressure on the Turkish judiciary and violated the independence of the judiciary,” the ministry officials told the envoys, according to a written statement by the Foreign Ministry.

The Turkish officials told the ambassadors that they have an “insincere and double-standard approach,” as “they focus only on the cases related to Turkey and especially try to keep the Kavala case on the agenda constantly while some other countries do not implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.”

The ambassadors said in a joint statement on Monday that “the continuing delays in his trial, including by merging different cases and creating new ones after a previous acquittal, cast a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency in the Turkish judiciary system.”

“Together, the embassies of Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United States of America believe a just and speedy resolution to his case must be in line with Turkey’s international obligations and domestic laws. Noting the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on the matter, we call for Turkey to secure his urgent release,” they added.

The Council of Europe stated in Sept. that it would start infringement proceedings against Turkey unless Kavala is released before its next committee of ministers meeting in November.

Kavala was acquitted in 2020 of charges related to nationwide Gezi protests in 2013. But his ruling was overturned and was combined with a probe into a coup attempt in 2016 on the accusation of spying.

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