The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Saturday that he has ordered the expulsion of ten foreign ambassadors who called for the release of a philanthropist being held in prison despite not having been convicted of a crime.
The diplomats, to be declared persona non grata, are from Western countries, including the U.S., Canada. France and Germany.
They were summoned last Tuesday to Turkey's foreign ministry.
They have called for the release of Osman Kavala, businessman and philanthropist, who has been held since 2017.
He was acquitted last year of charges related to nationwide anti-government protests in 2013, but then that ruling was overturned and tied to other charges related to a 2016 coup attempt.
The European Court of Human Rights has called for his release, too, saying his jailing serves to silence him and is not supported by evidence of an offense.