Duvar English

The case of Osman Kavala is up to the judiciary, Turkish Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül has said, as he commented on a recent European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling.

The ECHR on Dec. 10 ruled that the rights of Kavala, a prominent philanthropist, businessman and human rights activist who has been in jail for over two years, were violated, while also calling for his immediate release.

Gül on Dec. 20 was asked about Kavala’s case during budget talks in parliament.

“The ECHR has ruled for rights violations, so what’s the reason for not releasing him?” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Sibel Özdemir asked the minister, as she criticized the fact that the judicial reform package is not being implemented.

Gül, in return, said that it’s not appropriate for him to comment on the Kavala case.

“The conformity of actions with the reforms is our common wish. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment on a case that’s ongoing as a minister who is part of the executive power,” Gül said, adding that both the executive and the legislative branches are carrying out efforts in their own areas, while the rest is up to the judiciary.

“It’s our common wish for all public employees and all judicial staff to bring these reforms to life,” he also said.

Turkey has repeatedly been criticized over the case into Kavala, who is accused of being one of the “managers and organizers” of 2013 Gezi Park protests, which took place in Istanbul’s Taksim following harsh government response to a group of protesters trying to prevent the cutting down of trees for a large development project planned by the government.

He was arrested in 2017 on suspicion of attempting to overthrow the government and the constitutional order through force and violence. In addition to the charges related to the Gezi Park protests, Kavala also faces those related to the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt.