Brussels 25.10.2021 Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reversed his plans on Monday, October 25, abandoning a threat to expel 10 Western ambassadors, averting a diplomatic storm that analysts were warning would bring economic catastrophe upon Turkey and a lasting rupture in the NATO.
The 10 ambassadors had called for the release of businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala — jailed in 2017 despite having not having been convicted of a crime — in a joint statement last week.
The reversal occurred after the United States and several of the other concerned countries issued identical statements saying they respected a UN convention that required diplomats not to interfere in the host country’s domestic affairs.
After chairing an hours-long cabinet meeting devoted to the diplomatic standoff, Erdogan said the envoys had learnt their lesson and “will be more careful now”.
“Our intention is absolutely not to create a crisis but to protect our honour, our pride, our sovereign rights,” Erdogan said in nationally televised comments.
The lira pulled back from a historic low and was trading up half a percent against the dollar on relief that Turkey and the West had pulled back from the brink of the most serious diplomatic crisis of Erdogan’s 19-year rule.