Erdogan’s critics say demand for expulsions is distraction from economy woes

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By Daren Butler and Jonathan Spicer ISTANBUL (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan’s political opponents said his call to expel the ambassadors of 10 Western allies was an attempt to distract attention from Turkey’s economic difficulties, while diplomats hoped the expulsions might yet be averted. On Saturday Erdogan said he ordered the envoys be declared ‘persona non grata’ for seeking philanthropist Osman Kavala’s release from prison. The foreign ministry has not yet carried out the president’s instruction, which would open the deepest rift with the West in Erdogan’s 19 years in power. The dip…

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