Duvar English

Friends of renowned businessman, philanthropist and human rights activist Osman Kavala has penned a letter to him.

The letter was written in response to an April 19 letter sent by Kavala, who has been in jail for over 920 days on what critics say fabricated charges.

“We read your letters. We were both delighted and saddened. We’ve been apart from you for two and a half years. We’ve been away from your love and compassion that reached out to us in our difficult times,” they said.

“We feel your absence even more in the times of coronavirus,” they added.

Kavala, who was accused of being one of the “managers and organizers” of the protests, was arrested in November 2017 on suspicion of attempting to overthrow the government and the constitutional order through force and violence.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Dec. 10, 2019 that Turkey violated Kavala’s rights, citing the violation of Article 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights, finding that his imprisonment involves a restriction on rights for an improper purpose, while also calling for his immediate release.

Kavala and eight other defendants were on Feb. 18 acquitted by a court outside Istanbul in the Gezi Park trial. Within hours, a new warrant was issued for Kavala as part of the investigation into the failed 2016 coup attempt. The prosecutors accuse him of “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order” in this case.

He was rearrested on Feb. 19.

An Istanbul court late on March 9 ordered Kavala’s arrest once again, this time on new charges of “political or military espionage” within the framework of an ongoing investigation against the philanthropist.

“In your April 19 letter, you said, ‘Last night I had the chance to catch the full moon from the window of my room downstairs for the first time and thought about the nights with full moon that left their marks in my memory. I recalled how the full moon rose behind Mercedes Sosa in Harbiye Open Air Theatre. We had the impression that Sosa created the scene with supernatural powers for her song Gracias a la Vida to touch our hearts,'” they added.

“We wanted to write to you from wherever we all are, on the street under the magical light of the full moon, near the sea, on the seaside, on the mountains on this May night, as a response to your April 19 letter. ‘Despite all the pains, injustices and everything, thank you life, thank you Osman!'”

The letter’s signatories included, “your friends from all over the world,” “all stray cats and dogs of the world,” “those unemployed, left unemployed and the homeless,” “street children,” “migrants,” “seagulls of Istanbul,” “your neighbors in Tophane,” “snails,” “your friends from across the seas” and dozens more.