The second hearing of the Gezi case, following the merger of the Çarşı case, was held today at the Çağlayan courthouse.
Osman Kavala, a businessman detained on trial, did not attend the hearing.
The prosecutor demanded that Kavala be kept in detention.
The court accepted this request by a majority of votes.
The next hearing will take place on January 17, 2022.
Member Judge Kürşat Bekdaş, who voted for the release of Osman Kavala, used the following statements in his justification:
“The defense of the accused has been taken, the evidence has been collected, the scope of the file, the state of the file, the progress of the file, the absence of possibility of concealment of the evidence of the accused after this stage, the time that the defendant has spent in detention, the detention being protective, the application of one or more of the judicial control measures to the purpose sought in detention. »
In the press release issued after the hearing, the wife of businessman Osman Kavala, economist Prof. Dr. Ayşe Buğra said: “The same decision has been made with the same words for 4 years. The prosecutors do not ask questions, they do not ask what concrete actions have been committed. My concern is that this situation is taken for granted and normalized.
CHP deputy from Istanbul, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, said: “The political institution and the judiciary could only do much harm to this country by working together. It’s really bad now.
Stating that politics and the judiciary do it together, Tanrıkulu said: “Turkish economy has collapsed, there is no rule of law”.
“But at least there is a functioning mechanism in the Council of Europe. Next week there is a decision of the European Court of Human Rights on December 10, 2019, and there is a meeting of the Council of Ministers, who is responsible for carrying out this decision.
“There is not even a shred of evidence in this case that can convince an average citizen. It is still an interference with the right to life to keep a person in prison with nonsense, like HTS recordings, relay antennas, and completely far from reality.”
Kavala’s lawyer: Sjust be bad law rulingshould not be classified
Osman Kavala’s lawyer, Deniz Tolga Aytöre, said this case became a fight against the law so that Osman Kavala could be detained.
Stating that today’s hearing is an important opportunity for Turkey’s judiciary to address concerns about independence and political interference, Aytöre said: “To take away the constitutional right of a person with such evidence illegitimate and intangible should no longer be considered as a simple erroneous judicial decision. our view, it has become a problem of abuse of public authority,” he said.
“From now on, we will do nothing but follow the way to deal with this problem.”
Caroline Stockford, a Norwegian consultant to PEN Turkey, said in a statement outside the courthouse after the hearing: “We are very disappointed. This decision is unconstitutional. An absurd decision was made in an absurd trial.”
Osman Kavala has been detained since November 1, 2017.
Kavala was first tried as one of the defendants in the Gezi Park case opened in 2014, and was acquitted in 2015 along with the other 8 defendants in that case.
With Kavala’s arrest and his subsequent arrest on October 18, 2017, a second case was opened regarding the Gezi protests.
All defendants were acquitted in 2019, but Osman Kavala was not released on the grounds that there was another investigation against him.
Later, Kavala became the defendant in a retrial when the case known as the Çarşı case was merged with the new Gezi case.
Osman Kavala, Mücella Yapıcı, Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman, Çiğdem Mater, Mine Özerden, Hakan Altınay, Yiğit Aksakoğlu, Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi and Mine Özer, who were tried in the second Gezi Park case, “to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey using force and violence”, “They were acquitted of the charges of damage to property”, “qualified looting”, “unauthorized possession or transfer of dangerous goods”, “intentional injury” , “serious injury” and “violation of the law on the protection of cultural and natural properties”.
The 3rd Criminal Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice overturned the acquittal on January 22 this year.
In January, the court ordered that the case be forwarded to the lower court for reconsideration and adjudication.
On February 5, it was decided to join the other cases against Osman Kavala to this case.
On April 28, the 16th Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation overturned the verdict of the case brought against 35 members of the Beşiktaş Çarşı group on the allegation that they had “attempted to overthrow the government” during the Gezi Park protests, which resulted in acquittal, 6 years later.
The court decided to request the Istanbul 30th High Criminal Court to join the main Gezi case and this case.
When the decision to unify the cases became final, it was decided to go to trial with 16 defendants in this case, Osman Kavala, chairman of the board of directors of Anadolu Kültür, and 35 members of the Çarşı group.
The new case, consisting of 52 defendants, had become the main case of the Gezi events.
The ECHR demanded the release of Kavala
On May 22, 2019, the Constitutional Court (AYM) rejected Osman Kavala’s request for his detention in the Gezi Park case, and his lawyers appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
In its decision of December 10, 2019, the ECtHR demanded the immediate release of Kavala, stating that it was a violation of his rights, citing “the arrest of Kavala for political reasons without reasonable suspicion and the ‘failure to examine the individual application of the Constitution Court within a reasonable time’.
In September, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers called on Turkey to implement the ECHR decision to end the detention of Osman Kavala.
Crisis of the ambassadors
The ambassador to Ankara from 10 countries (United States, Germany, France, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Norway and New Zealand) demanded the “release” of Osman Kavala in a joint statement by the October 18.
President Erdogan first reacted to the ambassadors by saying, “We cannot afford to welcome them to our country,” then announced that he had instructed the Foreign Ministry to declare these 10 ambassadors persona non grata.
Intense diplomatic traffic took place between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and 10 countries, and the crisis was finally overcome with the declaration of the ambassadors of 10 countries that “they will respect article 41 of the Vienna agreement”.
Who is Osman Kavala?
Osman Kavala was born on October 2, 1957 in Paris, the capital of France. After graduating from the University of Manchester, Department of Economics in England, he took over management of the Kavala Group companies in 1982.
Joining the foundation of İletişim Yayınları in 1983, Kavala has supported many non-governmental organizations since the early 1990s.
Kavala is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Anadolu Cultural Foundation, which has been operating as a non-profit cultural institution since 2002. He is also a founding member, board member or advisory board member of numerous organizations non-governmental organizations such as Open Society Foundation, TESEV, TEMA Foundation, History Foundation, Diyarbakir Political and Social Research Institute, Turkish Cinema and Audiovisual Culture Foundation.
Kavala, who is also an Amnesty International donor, received the European Prize for Archaeological Heritage in 2019 for his efforts to protect endangered cultural heritage in Turkey.
The Istanbul branch of the Human Rights Association also awarded Kavala the “Ayşenur Zarakolu Prize for Freedom of Thought and Expression” in 2019 for her contribution to the work of a democratic society.