Appeal for the release of Osman Kavala

On the 18th of October, the Turkish businessman and cultural activist Osman Kavala was remanded in custody by Turkish authorities. He has now been formally arrested and jailed without having met a prosecutor.

Kavala is known in Turkey and internationally for his staunch support for democracy and open dialogue between people with different cultures within and beyond Turkey. For this reason, Kavala through his organisation Anadolu Kültür has supported and facilitated conferences and a lot of cultural activities, ranging from film, and music to literature and art.

In the EAA we have noticed his engagement for the preservation of Armenian heritage in Turkey.  It is a valuable contribution in itself for the richness and diversity of Turkeys heritage. It is also an example of how cultural heritage can be used as a platform for building trust and relations in particular between Turkish and Armenian experts.

The case brought up against Osman Kavala is shrouded in secrecy but accompanied by a campaign of allegations of conspiracy in government related media and from the political top. We do not see Osman Kavala as a conspirator but as a dedicated cultural activist who works through cultural heritage for a better future for people in Turkey and their neighbours.

Osman Kavala has contributed significantly to the respect for Turkey and its diverse culture. His arrest has done the opposite. The EAA appeals for his early release.