An increasing number of solidarity activities and events are being held in Germany with the demand that Anadolu Kültür Executive Board Chair, rights advocate and businessperson Osman Kavala, who has been behind bars for more than a year, be released from prison.
Four organizations, namely Amnesty International, PEN Germany, Turkish-German Forum of Culture and German Journalists Association (dju) have released a joint statement and requested that the Federal Government of Germany get involved for the release of Osman Kavala.
While several people including journalists, artists and politicians met in front of Maxim Gorki Theater in the capital city of Berlin and had their joint photo taken in solidarity with Osman Kavala, a 5.6 meter-long letter of solidarity written by 25 people in Hamburg was also posted to Silivri Prison in İstanbul, where Kavala has been held for more than year.
The letter, which was written in different languages, also contained quotations from prominent thinkers and artists.
Joint statement by 4 organizations
In the joint statement, which has been released by Amnesty International, PEN Germany, Turkish-German Forum of Culture and German Journalists Association (dju), it has been stated,
"61-year-old Osman Kavala has been held in Silivri Prison for a year - with no indictment issued against him. During this period, no evidence as to the vague charges pressed against him could be presented neither to Osman Kavala himself, nor to his family, lawyers or friends. After his detention by the police, Osman Kavala has been the target of a smear campaign based on the information leaked to the pro-government media outlets."
The four organizations have also made a call to the Federal Government of Germany to get involved for the release of Osman Kavala as well as for the survival of human rights and rule of law in Turkey.
A joint letter of solidarity by 25 people in Hamburg
A meeting was also held in Hamburg in solidarity with Osman Kavala. After the meeting, which was attended by 25 people including journalists, publishers and lawyers, a 5.6-meter-long colorful letter was created by joining the letters of solidarity written by the participants of the meeting.
The long and colorful letter has been posted to Silivri Prison, where Osman Kavala has been behind bars for more than a year.
Some statements from the letters are as follows:
"I would like to thank you for your effort and struggle for a more just world. I support the request that you and all other political prisoners who have been unjustly arrested in Turkey be released."
"The desire of understanding between people, dialogue and human rights cannot be banned."
Anadolu Kültür Executive Board Chair, human rights advocate and businessperson Osman Kavala was taken into custody in the evening hours on October 18 at İstanbul Atatürk Airport upon 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 and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan referred to Kavala as the "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'. The 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?"
His detention also sparked criticism on international level.
US thinker and professor in linguistics, Noam Chomsky, United States Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert and European Parliament Rapporteur for Turkey Kati Piri denounced Kavala's detention and demanded that he be released immediately.
On October 31, a group of 35 academics, writers and researchers coming together under the guidance of the European Network on Political Group Analysis Jean-François Bayart, addressed an open letter to President Erdoğan for Kavala's release.
About Osman Kavala
Kavala was born in Paris in 1957. He graduated from Department of Economy at Manchester University.
He has been working as executive at Kavala Group since 1982.
He participated in the foundation of Turkey's one of the most prominent publishing houses, İletişim Publications, with Murat Belge.
He served as member of administrative boards of business institutions and NGOs such as Turkey-Poland Business Council, Turkey-Greece Business Council, and Center for Democracy in Southeast Europe.
Kavala is a member of Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) Administrative Board, Open Society Institute Consulting Board, and supporter of Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, History Foundation and Diyarbakır Culture House.
Related bianet News
CALL FROM HIS ATTORNEYS IN 1ST YEAR OF HIS ARREST “If Law Exists in Turkey, Osman Kavala Should Be Released” 31 October 2018A press conference has been held in İstanbul on the occasion that it ...
Osman Kavala Deprived of His Freedom for 1 Year With Still No Indictment 18 October 2018We have compiled the judicial process of rights advocate and businessperson Osman Kavala ...
ECtHR to Hear Case of Osman Kavala in Accelerated Procedure 19 September 2018The European Court of Human Rights has demanded defence from Turkey relating to ...
Most Read Today
Turkey Dissatisfied with The Saudi Indictment for Khashoggi's Murder 15 November 2018
Unemployment Rate Still on the Increase in August: 11.1 Percent 15 November 2018
NOVEMBER 15 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE IMPRISONED WRITERS PEN Turkey: ‘We Find Imprisonment of 123 Journalists and Writers Unacceptable' 15 November 2018