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A group of artists, academics, members of non-governmental organizations and writers gathered in front of Silivri Prison on Sunday (April 1) in solidarity with Osman Kavala, having their photographs taken with the letters forming the phrases "We miss" and "The one who shines." On their way back from Silivri, the group flew the kites that they had prepared at the workshop a week ago.
Kites are for all prisoners
The kites prepared by artists and children were flown for all inmates who are kept in Silivri Prison and other prisons in Turkey and have been unjustly deprived of their freedoms for political reasons.
Among the ones who went to Silivri to express their wish for immediate release of Osman Kavala were Nimet Tanrıkulu, Hakan Tahmaz, Nurcan Kaya, Hülya Gülbahar, Deha Boduroğlu, Jale Parla, Caroline Finkel, Rana Zincir Celal, Jaklin Çelik, İnci Batuk, Beral Madra, Ceren Erdem, Sibel Horada, Seçil Yersel, Yasemin Nur Toksoy, Ece Eldek, Ayça Telgeren, Zeycan Alkış, Banu Cennetoğlu, İz Öztat, Nalan Yırtmaç, Gülşah Mursaloğlu and Asena Günal.
Anadolu Kültür Executive Board Chair, human rights advocate and businessperson Osman Kavala was taken into custody in the evening hours on October 18 at İstanbul Atatürk Airport upon his return from a meeting of a project planned to be realized in cooperation with Goethe Institute in Antep.
He was targeted by some pro-government newspapers following his detention.
Speaking at the weekly group meeting of his party, President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan referred to Kavala as the "Soros of Turkey", mentioning his name and said:
"Some try to deflect the truth by means of praises attributed to him such as 'He was a good citizen, a media member, an NGO representative'. The identity of this figure called 'Soros of Turkey' has been uncovered. That was his name that came up in Consulate General [investigation]. All connections have surfaced. And there is the same person behind the incidents in Taksim. You see those people again behind funds transfer to certain places. Who are you trying to fool?"
His detention also sparked criticism on international level.
US thinker and professor in linguistics, Noam Chomsky, United States Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert and European Parliament Rapporteur for Turkey Kati Piri denounced Kavala's detention and demanded that he be released immediately.
On October 31, a group of 35 academics, writers and researchers coming together under the guidance of the European Network on Political Group Analysis Jean-François Bayart, addressed an open letter to President Erdoğan for Kavala's release.
About Osman Kavala
Kavala was born in Paris in 1957. He graduated from Department of Economy at Manchester University.
He has been working as executive at Kavala Group since 1982.
He participated in the foundation of Turkey's one of the most prominent publishing houses, İletişim Publications, with Murat Belge.
He served as member of administrative boards of business institutions and NGOs such as Turkey-Poland Business Council, Turkey-Greece Business Council, and Center For Democracy in Southeast Europe.
Kavala is a member of Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) Administrative Board, Open Society Institute Consulting Board, and supporter of Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, History Foundation and Diyarbakır Culture House. (AG/HK/SD)