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Secret Turkey-US talks averted diplomatic crisis, report reveals

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 18, 2021 [Doğukan Keskinkılıç/Anadolu Agency]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 18, 2021 [Doğukan Keskinkılıç/Anadolu Agency]

The plan to expel ten Western ambassadors from Turkey was averted due to Ankara's secret diplomatic talks with the United States, it has been revealed.

After ten Western ambassadors—from the US, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden—issued a joint statement calling for the release of detained Turkish businessman and activist, Osman Kavala, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared them as "persona non grata" and threatened to expel them from the country.

That move risked seriously straining relations between Turkey and Western nations, generally, adding to already-existing tensions which have been building up over the past few years.

Plans to expel the envoys were cancelled yesterday, however, after they reaffirmed Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which guarantees non-interference towards the domestic affairs of the host country.

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The London-based news organisation Middle East Eye, which cited anonymous Turkish official sources, has now revealed that the potential diplomatic crisis was actually averted due to the fact that Turkish presidential officials talked with US diplomats and came to an agreement.

According to that agreement, the US envoy and the other signatories of the statement on Kavala would reaffirm their commitment to not interfere in Turkey's internal affairs and judicial investigations.

Following that, the US embassy in Turkey then released a statement on Twitter saying that "The United States notes that it maintains compliance with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations." Some of the other embassies released a similar statement, while the others re-tweeted the one by the US.

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