November 28, 2021

By playing appeasement, Erdogan and the West are avoiding the crisis

After causing a stir among the Western chancelleries, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan finally gave up his intention to expel ambassadors from ten countries – France, Germany, United States, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand – accused of interfering in Turkish internal affairs. Monday, October 25, when the Turkish government was going to meet to decide on the sanctions to be imposed, the embassies concerned defused the crisis, thus offering “A way out” to Erdogan, one explains among diplomats.

In a text published on its Twitter account, the United States Embassy recalled its attachment to the Vienna Convention, which governs diplomatic relations, and in particular to article 41, which prohibits any interference in the affairs of the host country. . Other concerned embassies relayed the same message. “Positively welcomed” by the Turkish number one, according to the official Anadolu news agency, the declaration was brandished as a victory by the whole pro-government media, elated by the “Recoil” foreign diplomacy. “After spitting, the ambassadors had to lick their sputum”, headline Monday the daily Yeni Akit. “I think they will be more careful in their statements”, President Erdogan concluded after the cabinet meeting.

In question, the public appeal that the ten ambassadors had launched on October 18 in favor of the release of the patron Osman Kavala, imprisoned for four years without trial despite a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordering his release.

Read also In Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives up expelling ten Western ambassadors

Outraged, Mr. Erdogan had declared loud and clear, twice last week, that he had ordered the expulsion of the signatories. The president’s remarks led to a fall in the Turkish lira, which fell to its all-time low (9.85 pounds to the dollar) when markets opened on Monday morning. The currency regained color on Tuesday (9.60 pounds to the dollar), driven by the announcement of the de-escalation.

Despite reiterated orders from the Turkish president, no official notification had been received by the chancelleries concerned. The Turkish Foreign Ministry has obviously been slow to implement the decision. According to some Turkish media, diplomats and advisers have made every effort to bring the president to his senses.

Discreet warnings

Sacking the ambassadors had serious consequences. The presence of the “world leader”, the nickname of Mr. Erdogan, at two major international meetings scheduled for the weekend, the G20 summit in Rome, Saturday, and the climate conference, the COP26, which takes place at the end of the week. opens Sunday in Glasgow, would have been compromised.

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