Turkey’s top diplomat lashes out at Germany over Kavala protest

Turkey’s top diplomat lashes out at Germany over Kavala protest

Turkey’s top diplomat lashes out at Germany over Kavala protest

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has strongly criticized Germany for its reaction over the Kavala case, accusing the prominent European nation of interfering in the internal affairs of Turkey.

Germany summoned the Turkish ambassador on Friday in a move to express discomfort for the life sentence issued against businessman Osman Kavala on the Gezi trial. Turkey did respond by summoning the German ambassador on the same day over Berlin’s reaction.

“Why does Germany summon our ambassador on an issue about our citizen? Why? Because they are providing funds [to him] and use [him]. They use him in order to intervene in Turkey’s internal affairs,” Çavuşoğlu said at an iftar dinner hosted by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Antalya on April 30.

Çavuşoğlu recalled that Ankara responded to Germany by summoning its ambassador to the Foreign Ministry on the same day, stressing “You [Germany] cannot intervene in our internal affairs. You, as Germany, cannot do that. You should know your place. We have informed the German ambassador that Germany should not intervene in our affairs.”

He also implied that some foreign countries are trying to redesign Turkish politics by getting in touch with certain political parties, noting “You are not superior to The Turkish nation. The decision will be given by the Turkish people.”

A heavy panel court in Istanbul sentenced Kavala to life in jail on April 25 on charges of trying to overthrow the government by supporting the Gezi protests and playing a role in the 2016 coup attempt. Seven other defendants were sentenced to 18 years in prison over the same charges.

Kavala was first arrested on criminal charges related to the 2013 Gezi protests when small protests in Istanbul spread into nationwide demonstrations, leaving eight protesters and a police officer dead.

The European Court of Human Rights had called on Turkey to immediately release Kavala. The Council of Europe launched the infringement procedure against Turkey after it did not comply with the European court’s ruling on Kavala.