Turkish Judge Jails Businessman Kavala

Turkish businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala will remain in jail, for the time being, a court in Istanbul has ruled on Friday. Western countries have been campaigning for his release for a long time.


The 64-year-old critic of President Erdogan has been in pre-trial detention for more than four years. In any case, he will remain in jail until the next hearing on January 17.

Kavala, a respected figure in intellectual circles in Turkey and abroad, was acquitted last year after a life sentence of financing protests in Istanbul in 2013 but was immediately charged with involvement in the thwarted coup in 2016.

The European Court of Human Rights ordered the government of Erdogan to release him in December 2019. In September, the Council of Europe threatened criminal proceedings against Ankara, which could ultimately suspend voting rights and membership in the country organization that oversees democracy and human rights.

Last month, ten ambassadors in Turkey, including the Dutch one, issued a statement calling the detention of Kavala unacceptable. They had to answer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara.

Erdogan had threatened to expel them for their call for release but swallowed it after the ambassadors stated they would continue to abide by Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to not interfere in internal affairs.

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