The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) said in a statement it is deeply concerned about the recent arrest of human rights activist and intellectual Osman Kavala in Turkey. Kavala was detained on 18 October at Atatürk International airport in Istanbul and has been held in detention ever since.
Osman Kavala is one of the most prominent figures of Turkey’s civil society and is a committed activist, promoting cultural and intellectual dialogue for peace and reconciliation. He is a close friend of the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink’s family and has been actively fighting for a fair trial on Dink’s murder. On April 24, 2016, Osman Kavala visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan and paid tribute to the memory of the innocent victims.
“The right to fair trial is a major component of any democracy, not for Turkey’s President Erdogan though. It is clear that Kavala’s arrest is politically motivated and is based on Erdogan’s whim and fabricated accusations. Osman Kavala has been one of the Turkish intellectuals who constantly raised minority, social justice issues and spoke out about the Armenian Genocide,” stated EAFJD President Kaspar Karampetian.
“It is unacceptable for the Turkish President to call Kavala head of a terrorist funding network without any trial. EAFJD condemns Osman Kavala’s arrest and calls on European leaders to help break the silence as the massive purge led by Erdogan continues to target civil society activists in Turkey,” concluded Karampetian.