Turkish Interior Minister Soylu conflates Osman Kavala case with Ukraine war

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has conflated the case of jailed philanthropist Osman Kavala with the ongoing war in Ukraine, claiming that those seeking the release of the former were the same people behind the murders of children in the war-hit country.

Duvar English

Those seeking businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala’s release from prison are the same as the murderers of children in Ukraine and Syria, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has claimed. 

“No one should look elsewhere for the suspect. Look at the Ukraine issue, there has been [billionaire financier] George Soros there since the beginning. They are the murderers,” he told pro-government daily Sabah’s columnist Mahmut Övür in an interview on March 14.

“We are altogether seeing the collapse of global organizations like the United Nations and NATO… I also think Europe carries no meaning as a community. Europe is being managed with Soros’ rules,” he said.

"Soros is the one responsible for all children who die at war,” he added.

“The Soros supporters here [in Turkey] are those who follow Kavala. Whoever wants Kavala to be released by deceiving the laws are also the murderers of children in Ukraine and Syria,” he said.

Kavala has been in prison since 2017 on charge of seeking to overthrow the Turkish government.

He has been at the heart of a diplomatic spat between Ankara and its Western allies, who have called for Kavala’s freedom.

Kavala, who has been involved in civil society projects and philanthropic work, is accused of financing nationwide protests in 2013 against the government. He denies the accusations.

He has been accused of ties to Soros due to his links to Soros’ Open Society Foundation.

On the fourth anniversary of Kavala’s imprisonment, the U.S. ambassador and nine others had urged his “urgent release” in a joint statement. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded to the ambassadors’ calls and demanded their expulsion in a full-blow diplomatic crisis.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has also ruled for his immediate release.