European Parliament member visits imprisoned Osman Kavala

The European Parliament’s Turkey Rapporteur Nacho Sánchez Amor on Dec. 6 visited imprisoned businessperson and philanthropist Osman Kavala. The EP had previously “seriously condemned” the court ruling for Kavala’a life imprisonment in the Gezi Park case.

Duvar English 

The European Parliament’s (EP) Rapporteur for Turkey Nacho Sánchez Amor on Dec. 6 became the first EP member to visit imprisoned businessperson and philanthropist Osman Kavala for allegedly orchestrating and funding the 2013 Gezi Protests. 

Amor shared the meeting on his social media, and described Kavala as “remarkable.” He also thanked the Justice and Foreign Affairs Ministries of Turkey for facilitating the meeting and wished the collaboration would be the harbinger of improved relations between Turkey and the EU. 

Amor’s official statement said, “(Kavala) is kept in prison for six years without any legal basis despite the clear verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the countless calls from the Committee of Minister of the Council of Europe.”

“Finally meeting Kavala in person was extremely emotional for me. I relayed to him the European Parliament’s solidarity and its steadfast demand for his release,” he continued.

Amor finally urged the Turkish government to comply with the ECHR’s rulings on Kavala and its related cases. He also reminded that Turkey honoring its international obligations was the best way to recuperate their relations. 

Nov. 1 marked the sixth anniversary of the Turkish government’s arrest of Osman Kavala, who was arrested in 2017 on charges that he helped to plan the 2013 Gezi Park protests against the government.

He was cleared of these charges in February 2020 but immediately arrested on charges that he orchestrated the July 2016 coup attempt, seen at the time as a way of getting around the ECHR's 2019 ruling that called for his immediate release.

In April 2022, an Istanbul court sentenced Kavala to aggravated life in prison without parole on charges of attempting to overthrow the government in the Gezi Park trial.