A group of 35 academics, writers and researchers have come together under the guidance of the European Network on Political Group Analysis Jean-François Bayart, and addressed an open letter to President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The group demanded Anadolu Kültür Executive Board Chair, businessperson Osman Kavala, who is known for his NGO works, be released immediately.
In the open letter, the signees have expressed their dismay over President Erdoğan's statement regarding Kavala's detention, calling Kavala "the Soros of Turkey" have noted that the accusations about Kavala were products of manipulation and identified Kavala as "a man of culture and peace". We ask you that Osman Kavala be released as soon as possible so that he can continue to serve his country, the dialogue it has with its European or Caucasian neighbors, and the cause of civil peace in which we are all dedicated".
The signees of the open letter are:
Fariba Adelkhah (Paris), Richard Banégas (Paris), Roberto Beneduce (Turin), Filip de Boeck (Louvain), Irene Bono (Turin), Florence Brisset-Foucault (Paris), Armando Cutolo (Sienne), Andreas Eckert (Berlin), Peter Geschiere (Amsterdam), Miroc Goepfert (Constance), Thornike Gordadze (Paris), Gabriella Gribaudi (Naples), Sten Hagberg (Upsalla), Béatrice Hibou (Paris),, Alessandro Jedlowski (Liège), Antoine Kernen (Lausanne), Michal Kozlowski (Varsovie), Denis Lacorne (Paris), Giovanni Levi (Venise), John Lonsdale (Cambridge), Roland Marchal (Paris), Alfio Mastropaolo (Turin), Françoise Mengin (Paris), Eric Morier-Genoud (Belfast), Didier Péclard (Genève), Isabel Raposo (Lisbonne), Jean-Louis Rocca (Paris), Boris Samuel (Rabat & Paris), Ramon Sarro (Oxford), Klaus Schlichte (Brême), Ricardo Soares de Oliveira (Oxford), Simona Taliani (Turin), Bruno Théret (Paris), Mohamed Tozy (Casablanca & Aix).
Anadolu Kültür Executive Board Chair, businessperson Osman Kavala, was taken into custody in the evening hours on October 18 at İstanbul Atatürk Airport on his return from a meeting of a project planned to be realized in cooperation with Goethe Institute in Antep.
He was targeted by some pro-government newspapers following his detention.
Speaking at the weekly group meeting of his party, President Erdoğan had referred to Kavala as "Soros of Turkey", mentioning his name and said:
"Some try to deflect the truth by means of praises attributed to him such as 'He was a good citizen, a media member, an NGO representative. Identity of this figure called 'Soros of Turkey' has been uncovered. That was his name that came up in Consulate General [investigation]. All connections have surfaced. And there is the same person behind the incidents in Taksim. You see those people again behind funds transfer to certain places. Who are you trying to fool?"
Osman Kavala is still in detention. (ÇT/DG)
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