German culture minister: Osman Kavala's place is not in jail

During a literature seminar held in the Turkish resort town of Bodrum, German Culture and Media Minister Claudia Roth has mentioned philantrophist Osman Kavala's name, saying “his place is not in jail.”

Selçuk Arslan / DUVAR 

German Culture and Media Minister Claudia Roth has participated in a literature seminar organized by the Livaneli Foundation and Bodrum Municipality in Bodrum.

The opening ceremony of the two-day long event named “Mediterranean Literature Days” was held on April 15 and saw the participation of Bodrum Mayor Ahmet Aras, musician and author Zülfü Livaneli, German Minister Roth, former Greek Prime Minister Yorgo Papandreu and several writers.

Roth took the stage during the seminar, mentioning jailed philantrophist and businessman Osman Kavala during her speech. “Hello Osman Kavala, hello my dear friend; we would very much want you to be here today because your place is not in jail. Your place should have been here today,” Roth said.

The German minister also said that Turkey “means a lot for her.” “I have had the opportunity to meet with your wonderful writers like Nazım Hikmet, Yaşar Kemal and Orhan Pamuk. I feel great happiness to be at the lands where culture, philosophy and art exist,” she said.

Kavala was arrested in 2017 on charges that he helped to plan the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Turkey. He was cleared of these charges in February 2020 but immediately arrested on charges that he orchestrated the July 2016 coup attempt. Kavala has been held in pre-trial detention for over four years without a conviction.

(English version by Didem Atakan)