Western embassies call for the release of Turkish human rights defender
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - Ten Western embassies called on Turkey to release Turkish businessperson Osman Kavala on Monday.
"Today marks four years since the ongoing detention of Osman Kavala began. The continuing delays in his trial, including by merging different cases and creating new ones after a previous acquittal, cast a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency in the Turkish judiciary system," the US Mission in Turkey said.
Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the United States called for Kavala's release.
"Noting the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on the matter, we call for Turkey to secure his urgent release," the statement said.
Kavala has been held in pretrial detention since November 2017.
He remains jailed despite European Court of Human Rights rulings calling for his immediate release.
The Turkish pro-government paper Daily Sabah reported that the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of ten countries over their statement on Tuesday.
"It is an obligation that all diplomatic entities respect our country's sovereignty and the independence of Turkish judiciary, and that they refrain from intervening in our domestic affairs," ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik said in a tweet, the Daily Sabah reported.
The statement by the ten embassies did not mention the case of the former pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas, who has been imprisoned for almost five years despite two European Court of Human Rights rulings calling for his immediate release.
Under European pressure, Turkey released an action plan in October that indicated the Turkish court might release Demirtas on probation on November 3.
However, if this does not happen, Demirtas will remain in prison until January 3, 2023, when he completes his sentence.