Turkey’s leading pro-govenment dailies and journalists hang the flags out after prominent human rights activist and businessman Osman Kavala have recently been taken into custody by police “for getting involving in terrorism activities in Turkey.”

In its front-page story on Friday Yeni Şafak launched a smear campaign against Kavala under the headline “Key Figure of Terror Fund” next to a large photo of him.

The pro-government daily went on to say: “Osman Kavala played a critical role in money transfers to the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] and the PYD [Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party] as well as in all other covert plots against Turkey.”

In a relentless demonization campaign, another pro-government daily, Güneş, defamed Kavala by saying that he supported civil rights movements and minorities, as if such support constituted a crime.

Güneş claimed on Thursday that Kavala was running a criminal organization that supported the Gezi Park “coup attempt,” which was actually a popular youth protest for the right to the city and further liberties, recognized the Armenian genocide of 1915, “supported the PKK” and allied with the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in their struggle against the increasingly authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkish police on Thursday detained leading activist and businessman Kavala at Istanbul Ataturk Airport.

Kavala was taken into custody as he returned from a meeting in the southeastern city of Gaziantep after an order was issued for a seven-day detention, according to a T24 report.

Star daily came up with the following headline: “Local Soros in custody,” in a clear reference to George Soros, one of the world’s most successful investors

According to the T24 news website, Kavala was detained as part of a confidential investigation, and sources close to the Ministry of Interior said the businessman would be questioned about some meetings held before a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

There have also been reactions to Kavala’s detention from the US and France, The New York Times reported on Thursday. According to the report “U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Kavala’s arrest was an example of a ‘very alarming trend’ of detention of civil society leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, academics and activists in Turkey. “We have expressed to the Turkish government our concerns on many occasions about this trend. … It remains a major concern of ours,” she told reporters in Washington.

Turkey Purge with Turkishminute.com