Jailed Turkish philanthropist Kavala says arrested just after being targeted by Erdoğan

Osman Kavala

Jailed businessman, philanthropist and civil activist Osman Kavala said his imprisonment came just after Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s words, implying that the judiciary ruled under pressure.

“Just like the human rights defenders at Büyükada were targeted by the President Erdoğan, I was arrested following Erdoğan’s words,” Kavala told Turkey’s main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) deputies Veli Ağbaba and Şenal Sarıhan during the deputies’ visit to the notorious Silivri Prison on Monday.

Accused of “attempting to abolish the constitutional order” and “attempting to remove the government of the Turkish Republic,” Kavala was detained on Oct 18 and were remanded in pretrial detention after two weeks.

While he was in police custody, Erdoğan said that “The facts of Turkey’s Soros have been revealed. His connections have been exposed. Who are you trying to fool? The same person is behind the Taksim events [Gezi Park protests]. You can also see those who are behind financial support for some places. We will stand against those who try to hit this nation from within. We will pay them back,” said Erdoğan during his party group meeting in Parliament.”

Kavala has been under investigation in the same probe that led to the jailing of US consulate employee Metin Topuz over alleged ties to the Gülen movement on Oct 4.

Turkish government accuses the movement of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt while the latter denies involvement.

Eight human rights activists, including Amnesty International’s Turkey Director İdil Eser, spent more than 100 days under pretrial detention over terror charges before being released on Oct 26. They had been detained while on a digital security workshop at the İstanbul island of Büyükada. (turkeypurge.com)

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