European rights court rejects Turkey’s appeal of Kavala verdict

European Court of Human Rights building, Strasbourg

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has rejected an appeal from the Turkish government of a ruling on jailed businessman Osman Kavala in December, declaring it final.

Kavala was accused of attempting to overthrow the government by orchestrating and financing the 2013 Gezi Park protests.

“In the absence of facts, information or evidence showing that Mr. Kavala had been involved in criminal activity, he could not reasonably be suspected of having attempted to overthrow the Government by force or violence,” the court had said, calling on authorities to facilitate his release.

It also had said in the ruling that it supported Kavala’s assertion that his detention was aimed at silencing him, adding that it was “likely to have a dissuasive effect on the work of human rights defenders.”

In mid-February, Kavala was acquitted of charges in the Gezi Park trial along with nine other defendants.

However, his detention since November 2017 did not end then, and he was rearrested on charges related to a 2016 coup attempt.

In March, an investigation accusing Kavala of espionage was launched by Turkish prosecutors.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the jailed businessman as the “Turkish Soros,” referring to Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros, who is a target of international conspiracies on organizing public protests. (

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