The world from october 18 to october 24

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has strongly criticised the ambassadors. - Copyright Vladimir Smirnov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

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.

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