Foreign Ministry urges the Council of Europe to be impartial toward Turkey

by Cristian Florescu

Turkey late Thursday urged the Council of Europe to not interfere in the country’s independent judiciary and to be impartial toward the country in response to a decision regarding the Osman Kavala case, write

“In line with the principle of respect for pending judicial proceedings, we call on the Council of Europe to avoid taking further steps (on the Kavala case), which would mean interference in the independent judiciary,” said a statement by the Foreign Ministry.

The statement came after the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe said it would refer to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) the question of whether Turkey had executed a previous judgment by the court on Kavala.

An Istanbul court ordered Kavala to stay in jail on Nov. 26, even after his case led to a diplomatic standoff between Turkey and 10 Western embassies including the United States.

In October, the embassies of the United States, Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden called for Kavala’s release in a joint statement.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of these countries, accusing them of meddling in the Turkish judiciary, while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced he had instructed Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to declare the 10 ambassadors as persona non grata. However, the embassies took a step back, preventing the crisis from escalating further.

The diplomatic spat was resolved after the U.S. and several of the other countries issued statements saying they respected the United Nations convention requiring diplomats not to interfere in the host country’s domestic affairs.

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