Click to read the article in Turkish
Symposium entitled “What We Can Do When There's Nothing to be Done: Strategies for Change” was held on September 28, 2018 to celebrate 10th anniversary of Center for the Study of Social Difference and 5th anniversary of Women Creating Change program.
In addition to figures like Judith Butler, Carol Becker, Ayşe Gül Altınay, Maria José Contreras, Masha Gessen, Diana Taylor, artists, academics, activists and program directors Jean Elisabeth Howard and Marienne Hirsch attended the conference.
At the end of the program, participants and spectators gathered under a banner that celebrated Osman Kavala’s birthday and sent this message: “Osman Kavala has taught us what we can do when there’s nothing to be done”.
Kavala’s 61st birthday was also celebrated in Cezayir exhibition and meeting hall in Beyoğlu, İstanbul.
As well as his family, artists, representatives from NGOs, journalists, academics and rights activists took a photo with a banner reading “Happy birthday Osman Kavala. To many free years together”.
Academics, writers and artists including Tan Morgül, Ülgen Semerci, Başak Ertür, Alisa Lebow, Tuna Erdem, Seda Ergül who came together in London celebrated Osman Kavala’s birthday.
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.
Related bianet News
ECtHR to Hear Case of Osman Kavala in Accelerated Procedure 19 September 2018The European Court of Human Rights has demanded defence from Turkey relating to ...
Support for Osman Kavala by Academics From Around World 18 September 2018Academics from the universities of Harvard, Yale, Oxford, MIT and Columbia have expressed ...
Most Read Today
TRIAL OF ACADEMICS 32 Academics Face up to 7 Years, 6 Months in Prison 18 October 2018
Ara Güler ‘Who Writes History with His Camera’ Loses His Life 18 October 2018
6 Arrested Airport Workers Released 18 October 2018