German lawmaker demands sanctioning Turkey, confronting Erdogan’s ‘authoritarianism’
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “authoritarianism” must be confronted, and Ankara should be sanctioned, German lawmaker Claudia Roth said on Saturday in response to the Turkish leader ordering the expulsion of 10 Western ambassadors over human rights comments.
Erdogan instructed the foreign ministry to expel the ambassadors of the US, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and New Zealand.
Erdogan is infuriated over the 10 countries’ statement calling for the “urgent release” of philanthropist Osman Kavala, who has been imprisoned for four years, charged with financing protests in 2013 and involvement in the failed coup in 2016.
“Erdogan's unscrupulous actions against his critics are becoming increasingly uninhibited,” Bundestag vice president Roth told German news agency DPA.
Roth said Erdogan's “authoritarian course must be confronted internationally,” and demanded sanctions and a halt to weapons exports to Turkey.
"I gave the necessary order to our foreign minister and said what must be done: These 10 ambassadors must be declared persona non grata at once. You will sort it out immediately," Erdogan said in a speech in the northwestern city of Eskisehir.
"They will know and understand Turkey. The day they do not know and understand Turkey, they will leave," he added.
Erdogan’s authoritarian rule has long garnered the West’s condemnation and his aggressive foreign policy hasn’t won him any battles on the international stage, as the US and the EU continued to criticize Turkey’s human rights record.
EU President David Sassoli said Turkey’s expulsion of the 10 ambassadors was a sign of an “authoritarian drift.”
“The expulsion of ten ambassadors is a sign of the authoritarian drift of the Turkish government. We will not be intimidated,” Sassoli tweeted.