Ankara: President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday backed away from the threat to pronounce 10 Western ambassadors as "persona non grata" who jointly called for the release of a jailed philanthropist.
Erdogan, speaking after a cabinet meeting, welcomed a new statement by several Western embassies in Ankara, which underlined that they abide by a diplomatic convention that stipulates non interference in a host nation's internal matters.
"Our intention is never to cause a crisis but to protect our honour, our pride, our sovereign rights. The new statement shows they have taken a step back from the slander against our country. They will be more careful now," the Turkish president said. "It is the duty of the head of state to give the necessary response to this disrespect towards our judicial members," he added.
The United States along with several other embassies issued similar statements on Monday, while some of them retweeted a tweet by US embassy, affirming they respected a UN convention that stipulated foreign diplomats not to meddle in the host nation's internal affairs.
The controversy sparked last week after the embassies of the United States, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden in Ankara made a joint statement for the release of Osman Kavala on October 18.
The Turkish President on October 21 threatened to expel the ambassadors of these ten nations on the grounds that they interfere with Turkey's judiciary.
Kavala was acquitted in 2020 of charges in connection to countrywide Gezi protests in 2013. But his ruling was overturned and was combined with a probe into an attempt for a coup in 2016 on the accusation of spying.
With ANI/Xinhua Inputs
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