What We're Watching: Turkey's deepening row with the West
Turkey's Erdogan ups the ante with the West: Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a group of diplomats "persona non-grata" after a group of 10 Western countries including the US, France, and Germany called on Ankara to release Osman Kavala, a Parisian-born Turkish businessman who's been held in jail since 2017 but hasn't been charged with a crime. Erdogan says that Kavala was involved in an attempted coup against the government in 2016. This latest move is a sign of Turkey's authoritarian drift in recent years, which has seen Erdogan's government increasingly crackdown on opposition members as well as journalists. It also reflects Turkey's increasingly fraught relations with the West: things got particularly bad between Washington and Ankara after Turkey purchased missile defense systems from the Russians in 2019. The Council of Europe (Europe's leading human rights organization) had previously warned that Ankara has until November to release Kavala or it would impose "infringements," though it's unclear what those would be.
An earlier version of this article stated incorrectly that the Council of Europe was the EU's largest human rights organization. We apologize for then error.