Turkey declares ten ambassadors "persona non grata" after calling for urgent release of activist Osman Kavala

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has ordered ten ambassadors, including those from the United States and France be declared "persona non grata", The BBC reports.

It follows a statement from the envoys calling for the urgent release of activist Osman Kavala.

He has been in jail for more than four years over protests and a coup attempt, although he has not been convicted.

Persona non grata can remove diplomatic status and often results in expulsion or withdrawal of recognition of envoys.

This week's statement on Mr Kavala jointly came from the embassies of the US, Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.

The Council of Europe, Europe's main human rights watchdog, has given Turkey a final warning to heed a European Court of Human Rights ruling to free Mr Kavala pending trial.

Addressing a crowd in Eskisehir on Saturday, Mr Erdogan said the ambassadors "cannot dare to come to the Turkish foreign ministry and give orders".

He said: "I gave the necessary order to our foreign minister and said what must be done. These 10 ambassadors must be declared persona non grata at once. You will sort it out immediately."

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