Finland’s leader: Turkey decision on envoys ‘regrettable’

Oct 23, 2021, 7:20 PM | Updated: Oct 24, 2021, 7:21 am
Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. E...

Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. European Union leaders conclude a two-day summit on Friday in which they discuss issues such as climate change, the energy crisis, COVID-19 developments and migration. (Johanna Geron, Pool Photo via AP)

(Johanna Geron, Pool Photo via AP)

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland’s leader said Sunday that the Turkish president’s decision to order that 10 foreign ambassadors, including the Nordic country’s envoy, be declared persona non grata after calling for the release of a jailed philanthropist and human rights activist was a “regrettable situation.”

Prime Minister Sanna Marin told public broadcaster YLE that “this is a tough reaction” from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who announced the move on Saturday.

A declaration of persona non grata against a diplomat usually means that the individual is banned from remaining in their host country. The diplomats were summoned to Turkey’s foreign ministry on Tuesday.

The envoys from the U.S., France, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and New Zealand had issued a statement calling for a resolution to the case of Osman Kavala, a businessman and philanthropist held in prison since 2017 despite not having been convicted of a crime.

“This is a very regrettable situation. We’ve considered it important that the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights are respected and complied with, and therefore have called for the release of this human rights activist,” Marin said.

Kavala was acquitted last year of charges linked to nationwide anti-government protests in 2013, but the ruling was overturned and joined to charges relating to a 2016 coup attempt.

International observers and human rights groups have repeatedly called for the release of Kavala. The European Court of Human Rights called for Kavala’s release in 2019, saying his incarceration acted to silence him and wasn’t supported by evidence of an offense.

Rights groups say Kavala’s imprisonment is based on political considerations. Ankara denies the claims and insists on the independence of Turkish courts.

Marin said Sunday that Finland was engaged in a dialogue with Turkish officials and was waiting for further information from Ankara before “drawing any conclusions”.

By Sunday afternoon, none of the four Nordic countries had received an official notification from Turkey’s foreign ministry on their ambassadors being labeled with a persona non grata status.

“However, I can state that we’re in close contact with our friends and allies about the case,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod told broadcaster TV2 late Saturday.

After Erdogan’s order was reported, the U.S. State Department said it was aware of the measure and was “seeking clarity from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

Researcher Toni Alaranta at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs said the likely aim of Erdogan’s action was to divert attention away from Turkey’s internal issue and to direct the president’s supporters and his AKP party to blame the problems on coming from abroad.

“I think it’s largely a question of Erdogan’s domestic support being at the bottom, the economy being in a severe downturn and the exchange rate of the (Turkish) lira being in a downward spiral,” Alaranta told the Finnish news agency STT on Sunday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Survivors gather to remember those lost at Pearl Harbor

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — A few dozen survivors of Pearl Harbor are expected to gather Tuesday at the site of the Japanese bombing 80 years ago to remember those killed in the attack that launched the U.S. into World War II. Herb Elfring, 99, said he’s glad to return to Pearl Harbor considering he […]
22 hours ago
A man wearing a face mask walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index in...
Associated Press

Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher as virus fears ease

BEIJING (AP) — Asia stock markets followed Wall Street higher Tuesday as anxiety about the coronavirus’s latest variant eased. Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong advanced. Oil prices gained for a second day. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index gained 1.2% after the chief White House medical adviser said the omicron variant might be less dangerous. […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Monday’s Scores

BOYS PREP BASKETBALL= Black Hills 64, River Ridge 51 Mercer Island 52, Hazen 51 Oak Harbor 59, Squalicum 47 Sehome 75, Blaine 54 Tenino 67, Columbia Adventist Academy 49 Toledo 62, Mount Vernon Christian 55 ___ Some high school basketball scores provided by Scorestream.com, https://scorestream.com/ Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Monday’s Scores

GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL= Corbett, Ore. 55, Columbia (White Salmon) 24 Trout Lake 39, Condon, Ore. 25 ___ Some high school basketball scores provided by Scorestream.com, https://scorestream.com/ Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
22 hours ago
A car turns onto a flooded Cooke Street, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in Honolulu. A strong storm packing ...
Associated Press

Dangerous storm threatens havoc across Hawaiian archipelago

HONOLULU (AP) — From the empty shores of Oahu’s Waikiki Beach to the snowy summit of the Big Island’s highest peak, an unusually strong winter storm is clobbering the Hawaiian Islands and raising the threat of dangerous flash floods, landslides and crashing tree limbs. The strong storm over the nation’s only island state left eloping […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Jimmy Fallon poses on the red carpet at the honors gala for the 44th Kennedy Center Honors o...
Associated Press

Fallon teams with Grande, Megan Thee Stallion for holidays

Yes, he’s the host of the “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” And sure, he’s starred in movies, been a “Saturday Night Live” regular, and just launched a new show, “That’s My Jam.” But Jimmy Fallon has always wanted his “That Thing You Do!” movie moment when he gets to hear his song come on the […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Finland’s leader: Turkey decision on envoys ‘regrettable’