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Erdoğan at the UN. Photo: Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Getty Images

The standoff over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s threat to expel 10 Western ambassadors has ended in an expensive draw with short-term political gains.

Why it matters: Erdoğan’s nationalist posturing appeared to be intended to please his voters and divert attention from domestic troubles at a time when public support for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is eroding.

Driving the news: On Oct. 23, Erdoğan said he'd ordered the Foreign Ministry to declare the ambassadors of 10 European and North American countries, including the U.S., as “persona non grata."

  • That came in response to a joint declaration from the ambassadors of those countries urging the release of jailed philanthropist and businessperson Osman Kavala, in line with a 2019 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Erdoğan claimed that the statement, which coincided with the fourth anniversary of Kavala’s detention on terrorism and espionage charges, was a violation of Turkey's sovereignty.
  • If Erdoğan had followed through in expelling the diplomats, it would have prompted one of the worst diplomatic crises between Turkey and its Western allies since the AKP came to power in 2002.

Behind the scenes: The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted intense negotiations over the past week to avoid such a crisis.

  • Finally, they managed to get a deal.
  • Erdoğan backtracked, and the 10 foreign embassies released a statement on Monday reiterating their commitment to Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations — i.e. the duty of non-interference in a host country's domestic affairs.

Between the lines: The 10 countries are among the largest investors in and trading partners for Turkey's battered economy, and the de-escalation prevented another economic shock after the Turkish lira hit a record low of 9.85 against the dollar on Monday.

  • More crises can be expected between now and the 2023 elections as Erdoğan seeks to consolidate the AKP's base of nationalistic voters.

What’s next: The Council of Europe may begin the disciplinary proceedings against Turkey by Nov. 30 for not complying with its 2019 ruling to release Kavala.

  • Kavala said he would not attend his next hearing on Nov. 26 to deliver his defense, as he believes he will not get a fair trial.
  • The crisis erupted just days ahead of the G20 summit in Rome, where Erdoğan is expected to meet President Biden in person for the first time since Biden took office.

The bottom line: Diplomats in Ankara may become more cautious in voicing their criticisms about judicial abuses, but tensions on these issues and others will remain.

Go deeper: Turkey's Erdoğan criticizes Biden, asks for money back on F-35

Go deeper

Updated Nov 25, 2021 - Economy & Business

How America's turkey supply chain brings birds to your table

A turkey farm in Pennsylvania. Photo: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The route that your turkey took on its way to your table this year was beset by extreme weather, global supply-chain issues and labor shortages — many of the same factors contributing to the "Everything Shortage."

The big picture: Our Axios Local teams have turned their eye to each piece of the turkey supply chain — from Iowa, one of the top producers of animal feed nationwide; to Minnesota, the biggest turkey producer; to Arkansas, home of Walmart, the country's largest retailer.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.