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The President of Turkey

has opened a new and unexpected political front against the West

. A few days after the ambassadors of 10 countries, including the United States, France and the United Kingdom, wrote a letter demanding the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

has responded in the most virulent way possible

: "I have ordered our Foreign Minister declare these 10 ambassadors 'persona non grata' as soon as possible, "he announced this Sunday.

"

What kind of rudeness is this? What do you think this is?

This is Turkey, Turkey! Not a tribal state, no, but the glorious Turkey," declared the top Turkish leader in front of an infuriated crowd. The orderly declaration is a first step towards expulsion, and comes in the same week that, in another decision not welcomed by the markets, the Turkish Central Bank has lowered interest rates by 200 basis points,

causing the immediate devaluation of the lira Turkish

.

The representatives in Ankara affected by the president's order are from the

United States, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden

. All of them wrote a joint letter last week urging the Turkish authorities to speed up the resolution of the

case Kavala

, a businessman and philanthropist, sympathizer of causes opposed to the Turkish Islamist Government, who has been in prison since November 2017 on a battery of charges .

In their letter, the ambassadors of the aforementioned countries stated that the delays in the

Kavala case

"call into question the respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency." Immediately afterwards, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the signatory representatives: "

Turkey is a democratic country governed by the rule of law that respects human rights

[...] the Turkish Judiciary will not be influenced by these irresponsible statements," he argued. its holder.

Although last year Kavala was acquitted of the accusations related to his alleged participation in the 2013 anti-government protests, immediately afterwards the Prosecutor's Office

found new charges in relation

to the failed coup of 2016

, which justified his stay behind bars

.

However, these charges were once again dropped, so that, once again, another new battery of charges, in this case of "military or political espionage", served to leave the philanthropist behind bars.

Life imprisonment

For all these accusations,

Kavala could be sentenced to life in prison

. Erdogan, for his part, has resorted to his own theories, calling Kavala the "representative in Turkey" of the magnate and philanthropist George Soros on Sunday. It is not a new accusation, since the Turkish media

have used this type of sambenit regularly on their covers

to point out the prisoner as a financier of an internal movement against Erdogan.

Kavala's imprisonment already threatened to cause a clash between Turkey and the Council of Europe. In December 2019, the European Court of Human Rights had decreed the release of the philanthropist, in provisional prison, alleging that his confinement "pursued an ulterior purpose,

mainly to silence him as a defender of human rights

." However, Turkey, despite being subject to the deliberations of the ECHR, ignored its decision.

This refusal to comply with the sentence, together with another decreeing the release of the pro-Kurdish party politician HDP Selahattin Demirtas,

led the Council of Europe to open the door to take coercive measures against Turkey

. On September 17, he warned that he could open proceedings against the country if Kavala is not released by the end of November. As EL MUNDO has learned, one of the measures could be the suspension of Turkish voting rights in this body.

A new hearing of the trial against Osman Kavala is scheduled for this November 26, but it is possible that the philanthropist will not appear in the courtroom.

In a statement released this Friday, Kavala said it would not make "sense" to attend: "Given that

there is no possibility of a fair trial in these circumstances

, I believe that participating in the hearings and defending oneself will be nonsense from now on."

The Council of Europe will be awaiting the outcome, with the risk that this new stake will exacerbate the crisis with the EU.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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