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Turkey left 10 Western ambassadors out of Republic Day ceremony

The Galata Tower is illuminated during the 98th anniversary of the Republic Day of Turkey in Istanbul, Turkey on October 29, 2021 [Mehmet Murat Önel/Anadolu Agency]
The Galata Tower is illuminated during the 98th anniversary of the Republic Day of Turkey in Istanbul, Turkey on October 29, 2021 [Mehmet Murat Önel/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey did not invite the ten Western ambassadors who called on the release of a detainee to the Republic Day ceremony, revealing Ankara's ongoing displeasure with the envoys.

After the 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 on 18 October, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared them as "persona non grata" and threatened to expel them from the country.

Those plans to expel the envoys were cancelled early this week, however, after secret talks between Turkish and US officials averted the diplomatic crisis by agreeing to the US reaffirming Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which guarantees non-interference towards the domestic affairs of the host country.

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 retweeted the US's one.

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Despite the controversy having officially ended and the ambassadors pardoned, the ten ambassadors were not invited to the official ceremony at the Turkish presidency in Ankara yesterday, which marked the 98th anniversary of the establishment of the modern Turkish republic.

The refusal to invite the envoys reveals the remaining and ongoing tensions between them and Ankara, which many predicted would continue long after the series of events. According to the Turkish news agency Anka, the embassies of the countries had already been notified that they would not be invited to the ceremony.

There is reportedly still a significant amount of anger directed towards the ambassadors and their countries by much of Turkish society, with some politicians and officials also continuing to speak against them in an unofficial capacity.

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