From Silivri’s high-security prison in Istanbul, Kavala is sometimes heard. He writes opinion articles and responds to the progress of his case through his lawyer.
From his cell, Kavala responds by mail to a series of questions from the NOS. First of all, he says he’s doing well under the circumstances. “I feel good. The messages of support I receive and the calls for my release from abroad give me strength. I feel better on the days when I speak with my wife, and when I hear the voice of my mom – who is quite old i am alone in a cell i read a lot, mostly fiction it keeps me mentally healthy.
He writes about the charges against him that they are based purely on “conspiracy theories.” “I guess they want to keep alive the theory that the Gezi uprising was an external plot to overthrow the government. The only basis for this theory about me is that I sympathized with the Gezi protesters and my relationship with them. the George Soros Open Society Foundation. “
Erdogan previously called Kavala a “relic of Soros”, referring to the Hungarian-American businessman George Soros, who, like Kavala, supports many social projects. Soros’ Open Society Foundation, which mainly funds pro-European projects, had to leave Turkey in 2018 under heavy pressure.
Kavala says his imprisonment is a warning to his colleagues. “It is a message addressed to all those who are active in civil society. They should not get involved in affairs that hinder the government.
He was “a little surprised” when he heard the call from the ambassadors. “There have been similar statements before, from the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. For ambassadors to do this is unusual and symbolically much more striking. But given the president’s reaction, I don’t think this statement contributes to my early release. . “
He thinks that pressure from the Council of Europe can lead to a positive development in his case. The Council will decide at the end of this month whether or not to open criminal proceedings against Turkey. Then the country can be withdrawn from the right to vote or even suspended. “I think there is a chance that I will be released in the first half of next year.”
Four years of hope
The case against Kavala will continue on Friday. At each hearing, his lawyer Tolga Aytöre takes into account that he may be released. But because it’s impossible to predict, he doesn’t want to think about it too much. “For four years, we have been hoping for this moment every day,” he says. “Our right to a fair trial has been violated so many times. All we can do is say over and over again that Osman Kavala must be released immediately.”
“Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover.”