Uruguay's opposition Broad Front (Frente Amplio) has threatened not to grant their consent to the country's designated ambassador to Turkey following the incident with that country's Foreign Minister, who during the weekend when Armenian demonstrators in Montevideo were met with a gesture belonging to the far-right Grey Wolves group.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was recorded on video in front of the newly-opened Turkish Embassy in Montevideo as he laughed and showed his fingers to a group of Armenians objecting to his presence in the country on a date so close to another anniversary of ethnic genocide perpetrated against them by the Turkish Ottoman Empire in 1915.
Following the incident and the voices raised by members of the Armenian community, and after President Luis Lacalle Pou admitted they were perfectly entitled to feel upset, Turkey's newly-appointed ambassador to Montevideo was summoned Monday to Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo's office.
After that meeting, the FA lawmakers decided to summon Bustillo before Congress' International Affairs Committee to report on the case and to render an explanation as to why Çavuşoğlu's visit was allowed one day before the 107th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide.
The FA senators are weighing whether to grant their approval to the appointing of Hugo Cayrús as Uruguay's next ambassador to Ankara. Cayrús has been cleared by the International Affairs Committee but the plenary has yet to decide on the issue.
In the meantime, Turkish human rights activist and philanthropist Osman Kavala has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his support to anti-government protests in Istanbul in 2013. Kavala was charged with attempting to overthrow the government.
Kavala, who has been in custody for more than four years in Istanbul's Silivri prison, was acquitted of the charge of espionage in connection with his alleged role in the 2016 coup attempt. The European Court of Human Rights had called for his release. Other defendants in the same case were handed down 18-year prison sentences.
President Luis Lacalle Pou will participate this Tuesday at 18:00 in the Parliament in an act of the Armenian community in remembrance of the Armenian genocide.
Uruguay and Turkey had taken the first steps toward a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with documents signed between Bustillo and Çavuşoğlu. Advancing in trade issues with any country in the world does not mean sharing internal or external policies, Lacalle explained. Turkey was the tenth destination of Uruguayan exports in 2021.