This week Osman Kavala spent his 100th day in prison.
Kavala is one of most important public intellectuals in Turkey, has played a prominent role both in defending the rights and liberties of all in Turkey, including Kurds and Armenians, and in bringing together people of different political viewpoints to discuss their differences in civil debate. He was arrested in October, and now faces trumped-up charges of organizing the June 2013 Gezi Park protests, of supporting the failed coup of 2016 and of conspiring against Turkey. The charges are almost beyond ridicule.
Kavala is far from the only person to have been thrown into prison in Turkey in recent months. It is estimated that more than 132,000 people have been detained and 64,000 arrested since Turkish President Erdogan began his latest crackdown in the wake of the failed coup of July 2016. 152,000 people have been dismissed from their posts, including almost 6000 academics and more than 4000 judges. Over 300 journalists have been arrested, and nearly 200 media outlets shut down. It is a mass campaign to crush all and any dissent. The failed coup has merely provided a convenient excuse for
The latest crackdown has been on critics of Turkey’s military offensive against Kurds in the Afrin in northern Syria. At least 600 people have been detained, including 11 members of the central council of the Turkish Medical Association.