Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has claimed that Turkey had implemented the European Court of Human Rights' (ECHR) ruling Osman Kavala, saying that the philantrophist has remained in jail “due to another crime.”
“The Turkish court implemented the ECHR's ruling of violation for Osman Kavala and abided by it. He was arrested due to another crime and his prosecution continued,” Bozdağ said at the 13th Ambassadors Conference in the capital Ankara on Aug. 10.
“Those who shout 'There is no justice [in Turkey]' cannot bring to the agenda more than five cases. And they do not know about those five cases. They do not know the file, evidence,” he said.
“There are close to 8 million [judiciary] cases in Turkey. There are close to 315,000 arrestees and convicts in prisons. But those who come from Europe are asking about either one person or two persons. If you are so interested in rights violations, there are so many people in prisons, being prosecuted. Don't any complaints come from them? Aren't there any questions that you will ask me about them? Why aren't you interested in them? Is this fair?” Bozdağ 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, seen at the time as a way of getting around the ECHR's 2019 ruling that called for his immediate release.
In April, an Istanbul court sentenced Kavala to life in prison without parole on charges of attempting to overthrow the government.