Ayşe Buğra, a history professor at Turkey’s Boğaziçi University and the wife of famed businessman Osman Kavala, has stated that the recent arrest of her husband on coup charges dashed all remaining hopes for Turkish democracy.
“My husband and the chairman of Anadolu Kültür Association, Osman Kavala, was arrested on Oct. 1, 2017, at 4:10 a.m. for attempting to destroy constitutional order and overthrow the Turkish Parliament. It is claimed [by the prosecutor] that he aided ‘all terrorist organizations — including FETÖ/PYD, PKK/KCK, DHKPC, MLKP –, organized and supported the Gezi protests and involved in a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The ruling for his arrest is extremely worrying […] The court ruling did not only take away Osman Kavala’s freedom, but also our hopes for democracy, peace and rule of law in this county,” Buğra said in her statement on Wednesday.
Amid international calls for his release, an Istanbul court on Tuesday put businessmen and civil activist Kavala, who was detained on Oct. 18, in pre-trial detention.
According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, Kavala was arrested o
n charges of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and attempting to remove the government of the Turkish Republic.
The ruling came days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared Kavala a criminal and the “Turkish Soros.”
“The facts of Turkey’s Soros have been revealed. His connections have been exposed. Who are you trying to fool? The same person is behind the Taksim events [Gezi Park protests]. You can also see those who are behind financial support for some places. We will stand against those who try to hit this nation from within. We will pay them back,” Erdoğan said during his party group meeting in Parliament on Oct. 24.
Media also said Kavala has been under investigation in the same probe that led to the jailing of US consulate employee Metin Topuz over alleged ties to the Gülen group on Oct 4.
Turkish government accuses the movement of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt while the latter denies involvement.
Kavala was born in 1957 in Paris and studied economics at the University of Manchester. Upon his father’s passing in 1982, he took over the management of the Kavala Companies.
He was active in the establishment of a number of business organizations in Turkey, including Turkish-Polish and Turkish-Greek business councils and the Association of Tourism Investors.