Erdogan announces expulsion of ambassadors of ten Western countries
This Saturday the president of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, said he had ordered his Ministry of Foreign Affairs to expel the ambassadors of ten Western countries for their demand to release businessman and activist Osman Kavala. The ambassadors of the US, France, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland in Ankara were thus declared persona non grata. This move comes in response to the joint statement by these representatives earlier this week, in which they argued that “Continuing delays in [Kavala’s] trial, including merging different cases and creating new ones after a previous acquittal, cast a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency in the Turkish judiciary”. Erdogan described the statement as “reckless”, adding: “They will recognize, understand and know Turkey. The day they don’t know or understand Turkey, they will leave.” The European Court of Human Rights called for Kavala’s release in 2019, saying his arrest was meant to silence him and was not supported by evidence of a crime.
Polish Constitutional Court decision discussed in European Parliament
On Tuesday the decision taken by the Constitutional Court of Poland earlier this month, to determine that the country’s constitution takes precedence over some European Union laws, was discussed in the European Parliament. Some members of Parliament called on the European Commission to act immediately to defend Polish citizens and the foundations of EU law, triggering the conditionality mechanism. For her part, the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, warned in her speech that the decision represents “a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order” which undermines the protection of judicial independence.
- Nigeria launched a digital currency, eNaira, on Monday. Its central bank made this decision months after a ban on banks and financial institutions to trade or facilitate transactions in cryptocurrencies.
- This Tuesday Myanmar’s opposition shadow government welcomed the decision of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to exclude junta leader Min Aung Hlaing from its next regional summit.
- On Thursday the Evergrande group, the second-largest furniture company in sales in China, which is going through a serious liquidity crisis, paid the default interest and avoided default. The developer repaid interest payments on a dollar-denominated bond a few days before formally defaulting by transferring an $83.5 million interest payment to Citibank.
- An explosion in Kabul resulted in a power cut when it hit a power pylon in the Qala Murad Beg area on Thursday. The Islamic State said it was behind this blast in the capital of Afghanistan.
- Syrian delegations did not reach an agreement on the new provisions of the constitution this Friday, and no new date has been set for the next negotiations. The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, called the negotiations between the Syrian government, opposition and civil society groups “a big disappointment”.
- This Sunday Libya held the first forum on the elections scheduled for December. Libya’s Prime Minister, Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, said at the meeting that the meeting of security departments was “an important step towards uniting state institutions.”
- This week thousands of supporters of Sudan’s transitional government demonstrated in the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and in other cities. Rival pro-military demonstrators also staged a protest in front of the presidential palace.
- Russia suspended its diplomatic mission to NATO this week. According to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, this measure came “in response to the actions of NATO”, accusing the military alliance of not being “interested in an equitable dialogue”. NATO expelled eight diplomats from the Russian mission earlier this month, claiming they worked as intelligence officers.