Patron Osman Kavala just acquitted is arrested again in Turkey

In front of Silivri prison on February 18, from where Osman Kavala was released before being arrested again.
In front of Silivri prison on February 18, from where Osman Kavala was released before being arrested again. OZAN ​​KOSE / AFP

A few hours after his acquittal, Tuesday 18 February, the Turkish businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala was arrested again at the request of the Istanbul prosecutor's office, ready to indict him, this time for his alleged participation in the putsch missed July 15, 2016.

Amnesty International has denounced this new arrest, which is believed to "Cynical and cruel". Emma Sinclair-Webb, Human Rights Watch Representative in Turkey, Prosecutor's Decision Proves "Once again to what extent Turkish justice is controlled by political power".

Defendant Kavala should have been released late Tuesday evening from Silivri High Security Prison, on the outskirts of Istanbul. His wife, Ayse, and his relatives, who came to attend the last hearing of his trial on Tuesday, were delighted that the judge had finally acquitted, "In the absence of sufficient evidence". But after waiting for her husband at the prison gates, Ayse left without seeing him. He was brought before a judge for a new indictment, as absurd as the first.

Read also Turkey urged to release businessman Osman Kavala

Man spent his life and his fortune in the service of his foundation Anadolu Kültür, champion of cultural and artistic action. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had his sights set on this affable and culture-loving colossus. With its anonymous witnesses, its crude approximations, its breaches of procedure, the Kavala trial is an affront to the rule of law. Assembled from scratch, it throws an indelible stain on the functioning of Turkish justice.

Osman Kavala, 63, was accused, along with fifteen other civil society figures, of seeking to overthrow the government in 2013. The group was described as the brain of the "Gezi uprising", named after a small park in Taksim Square in the center of Istanbul, which then became the center of the protest against Prime Minister Erdogan’s authoritarianism.

“Red Soros” prototype

The episode always had a bitter taste for the strong man from Turkey. Unable to digest the first challenge to his reign, he decided, once he became president, to rewrite the event in his own way, in the form of a sort of “terrorist” putsch fomented with the help of foreign powers. Thus, sixteen intellectuals who had been able to mediate at the time found themselves, four years after the events, accused of having hatched a plot. "Their aim was to light the fuse of violence through marginal groups and terrorist organizations, to create chaos, and that is what happened", states the indictment.


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