Erdoğan threatens to expel ambassadors

Diplomatic relations between Turkey and the West are once again in crisis: the ambassadors of ten countries including the US, Germany and France were summoned to Turkey's foreign ministry after they called for a "just and speedy resolution" to the Osman Kavala case. On Thursday, Turkey's Prime Minister Erdoğan adopted a harsher tone, saying that his country could no longer "afford to host" them.

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T24 (TR) /

This is no joke

T24 doubts whether Erdoğan is aware of the consequences of his actions:

“Such words have only one goal: to declare the ten ambassadors who issued the appeal persona non grata. They'll have to pack their bags and leave. Then these countries will also expel our ambassadors. ... Is this a clever move when we stand alone diplomatically in the Eastern Mediterranean, are being squeezed between the US and Russia in Syria and are threatened with sanctions from the Council of Europe that could lead to the suspension of our membership? ... It's easy to put on a show like this while journalists whose only job is to nod their heads sit back and look on. But real power means following words with deeds, and we know he won't do that.”

Karar (TR) /

Ankara partly to blame for this insult

To be convincing in its outrage over foreign interference the Turkish government would have to clean up its own act and stop politicising the judiciary, Karar notes:

“No country may patronise or lecture Turkey. ... But if we don't want to accept any meddling with our justice system, shouldn't we also explain why the government still remains silent on the politicisation of the judiciary and why, for example, the Kavala case has turned into a legal scandal? ... If we are really uncomfortable with foreign countries lecturing us, we must first raise our legal system, which is not even trusted by our own citizens, to a level we can all be proud of. Then we can defy the world with our heads held high.”

Die Welt (DE) /

Recall ambassadors to preserve dignity

The states in question will ignore the threat of expulsion, Die Welt suspects:

“They know that Erdoğan's tantrum is motivated by domestic politics, and besides, the West has become dependent on the Erdogan regime in many respects, for example on the refugee issue or most recently in Afghanistan. A different reaction would, however, be more appropriate: Germany, France, the US and the other countries involved could 'recall' their ambassadors for consultations. This would not only serve their self-respect. It would also send the right signal to foreign investors whom Erdoğan is trying to woo.”