After Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said that he gave instructions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take the necessary steps to expel 10 ambassadors who released a joint statement calling for the release of an imprisoned philanthropist and businessperson, seven of the embassies involved responded by saying that they ‘maintain compliance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations’.
Embassies of the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Finland all tweeted the same text with emphasis on article 41 of the Vienna Convention.
The tweet of the US Embassy read:
“In response to questions regarding the Statement of October 18, the United States notes that it maintains compliance with article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”
The related article states that the embassy officials enjoying diplomatic privileges and immunities in the country they are serving in should ‘respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state,’ and they also have a duty ‘not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State.’
On 21 October, Erdoğan stated to a group of journalists that ‘they can’t have the luxury of accommodating’ the ambassadors who called upon Turkish officials on 19 October to take urgent steps to release Osman Kavala, still in prison after four years despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that he should be immediately released.
The response from embassies came just as the cabinet of Erdoğan was supposedly discussing whether or not to declare the 10 ambassadors persona non grata.