Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered the foreign minister to declare 10 ambassadors – including from US, Germany and France – as "persona non grata" over their remarks on the detention and trial of a businessman.
Turkey's President Recep Erdogan has ordered the country's foreign minister to issue necessary instructions to declare ambassadors of the US, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Holland, Sweden, Canada, Norway and New Zealand "persona non grata".
"I have ordered our foreign minister to declare these 10 ambassadors as persona non grata as soon as possible," Erdogan said on Saturday, referring to a term used in diplomacy which signifies the first step before expulsion.
The envoys who called for Osman Kavala's release "should either understand Turkey or they should leave," he added.
President Erdogan last week said that Ankara could expel the above ambassadors over remarks on the detention and trial of a businessman.
"I told our foreign minister that we cannot have the luxury of hosting them in our country," Erdogan told reporters in comments reported on Thursday.
The ambassadors of US, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden shared a joint statement on social media on Monday, calling for Kavala's release, claiming the ongoing case has cast a shadow over Turkey.
Later, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of these countries, accusing them of meddling in the Turkish judiciary.
Kavala's next court hearing is set for November 26.
Kavala was first arrested over criminal charges related to the 2013 Gezi protests, a small number of demonstrations in Istanbul that later transformed into nationwide protests.
The businessman was later remanded into custody by an Istanbul court as part of a probe into the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, with prosecutors accusing him of spying.
The Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) orchestrated the coup attempt of July 15, 2016 which left 251 people dead and nearly 2,200 wounded.
Turkey also accuses FETO of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.