Will Erdogan release the critic Osman Kavala under pressure from Europe? – To world

From the high-security prison Silivri in Istanbul, Kavala occasionally speaks out. He writes opinion articles and reacts to developments in his case through his lawyer.

From his cell, Kavala answers a number of questions from the NOS by letter. First, he says that given the circumstances, he is fine. “I feel good. The messages of support and the calls for my release from abroad give me strength. On days when I talk to my wife, I feel better when I hear my mother’s voice, who is quite old alone in a cell. I read a lot, especially fiction. That keeps me sane. “

He writes of the charges against him that they were based purely on “conspiracy theories”. “I assume that you want to keep alive the theory that the Gezi uprising was an external conspiracy to overthrow the government. The only basis for this theory about me is that I sympathized with the Gezi protesters and my relationship with the Open Society Foundation of George Soros. “

Unusual statement

Erdogan previously called himself Kavala a “Relic of Soros”, alluding to the American-Hungarian businessman George Soros, who like Kavala supports numerous social projects: Soros’ Open Society Foundation, which mainly finances pro-European projects, had to leave Turkey in 2018 under great pressure.

Kavala says his detention is a warning to his colleagues. “It is a message to everyone involved in civil society. That they should not interfere in matters that hinder the government. “

He was “a little surprised” when he heard of the ambassador’s call. “There have been similar statements before, from the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. That ambassadors do this is unusual and symbolically much more conspicuous. But, given the President’s reaction, I don’t think this statement will contribute to my early release. ” . ”

He believes that the pressure from the Council of Europe can lead to positive developments in his case. The Council will decide at the end of this month whether to initiate criminal proceedings against Turkey. Then the country’s voting rights can be withdrawn or even suspended. “I think there is a chance that I will be laid off in the first half of next year.”

Four years of hope

The trial against Kavala will continue on Friday. His lawyer Tolga Aytore takes into account at every hearing that he can be released. But because it’s impossible to predict, he doesn’t want to think about it too much. “We have been hoping for this moment every day for four years,” he says. “Our right to a fair trial has been violated so many times. We can only repeat over and over again that Osman Kavala must be released immediately. “


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