(Bloomberg) -- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey can’t afford to host the ambassadors of 10 countries, including the U.S. and Germany, who demanded the release of philanthropist and businessman Osman Kavala.

“Those who defend this Soros leftover are trying to get him released. I told our foreign minister that we don’t have the luxury of hosting these people in our country,” Erdogan said, accusing the Turkish businessman of links to billionaire financier George Soros.

Turkey Summons 10 Ambassadors Over Demand to Free Businessman

Kavala remains in jail four years after he was charged with attempting to overthrow the government, without a conviction. Erdogan’s latest comments, made to reporters on the way back from a trip to Africa this week, show the case remains highly politicized. 

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry already summoned the ambassadors of the U.S., Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Norway and New Zealand to demand an explanation for their joint statement on Tuesday.

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