Oct 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Erdoğan walks back threat to expel 10 Western diplomats

Erdogan speaking at the UN general assembly
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses the UN. Photo: Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday walked back threats to expel 10 Western ambassadors from the country, according to the New York Times.

Driving the news: Last Saturday, Erdoğan threatened to declare 10 ambassadors persona non grata after they called for the release of jailed philanthropist Osman Kavala.

The big picture: Many analysts were afraid the threat could lead to sanctions, which could further hurt the struggling Turkish economy, per NYT.

  • The Turkish lira fell to a new of low 9.75 to a dollar.

What they're saying: “Our will is never to cause a crisis, but to protect the rights and law, honor, interests and sovereign rights of our country,” Erdoğan said in a televised statement on Monday, per NYT.

  • “I believe from now on they will be more careful about their statements regarding sovereign rights,” he added.
  • "The end of this crisis does not mean that the Osman Kavala issue is over. The Kavala issue will continue to be a problem in Turkey's relations with the EU and the USA," Asli Aydintasbas, a senior fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations, wrote on Twitter.
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