Wife of jailed Turkish activist says case is ‘inexplicable’

Oct 25, 2021, 6:11 AM | Updated: 6:19 am
Members of a Turkish group hold a symbolic boarding pass for 10 foreign ambassadors as they stage a...

Members of a Turkish group hold a symbolic boarding pass for 10 foreign ambassadors as they stage a protest near the U. S. Embassy in support of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. Erdogan last Saturday announced he ordered 10 ambassadors, including those from the US, Germany and France, be declared persona non grata, following a joint statement from the envoys calling for the release of Turkish activist Osman Kavala. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

ISTANBUL (AP) — The wife of a jailed philanthropist at the center of a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and 10 Western nations described her husband’s imprisonment as inexplicable Monday.

“There’s no way this situation can be explained either logically or legally,” Ayse Bugra said in comments published on Halk TV’s website. Her husband, Osman Kavala, has been in a Turkish prison for four years awaiting trial on charges many view as unfounded.

Last week, the ambassadors of 10 countries, including the U.S., Germany and France, called for Kavala’s release and the swift resolution of his case.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned their joint statement and announced on Saturday that he had ordered the envoys to be declared persona non grata, paving the way for them to be removed from Turkey.

Kavala, 64, was acquitted in February last year of charges linked to nationwide anti-government protests in 2013, but the ruling was overturned and joined to charges relating to a 2016 coup attempt. He faces a life sentence if convicted.

The European Court of Human Rights called for his release in 2019, saying his incarceration acted to silence him and was not supported by evidence of an offense. The Council of Europe says it will start infringement proceedings against Turkey at the end of November if Kavala is not freed.

Since Erdogan’s announcement, there has been no further official comment on action against the diplomats, who also include the ambassadors of the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and New Zealand.

Several of the countries involved have said they have received no formal communication from the Foreign Ministry. Erdogan is due to chair a Cabinet meeting later Monday, when the crisis is expected to be discussed.

“The whole situation is a serious matter but we understand that the concerned countries have not yet been notified about any action,” European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said Monday.

A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin that “we take note of the statements of the Turkish President with concern and also with incomprehension.”

“So far there has not been a formal announcement from the Turkish side,” Steffen Seibert said, adding that “we are in close talks with our partners who are affected by a similar threat.”

A group of about 40 pro-government protesters gathered near the U.S. embassy in Ankara on Monday demanding the removal of the 10 envoys. Members of the Youth Union of Turkey carried banners including a mock-up of an airline boarding pass.

Although Kavala’s continued incarceration has been widely criticized abroad, Turkey maintains he is being held according to the rulings of its independent judiciary.

Bugra, a professor of political economy, said the president’s comments, in which he compared her husband’s imprisonment to the treatment of “bandits, murderers and terrorists” in other countries, contradicted the principle of judicial independence.

As a member of the Council of Europe Turkey is bound by the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. Bugra said she regarded the ambassadors’ statement as an effort to curtail possible action against Turkey.

“The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers said it would impose sanctions if Osman is not released at the end of November,” she said. “This is something serious. I interpret the envoys’ initiative as a well-intentioned attempt to prevent things from becoming this way.”

The Turkish lira plummeted after Erdogan’s statement, hitting an all-time low of 9.85 against the dollar on Monday morning. The currency had been under pressure following interest rate cuts last week amid inflation that stands at nearly 20%.

Increased tensions with the West are likely to scare off foreign investment, further harming Turkey’s beleaguered economy.

___

Associated Press writers Lorne Cook in Brussels and Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Aslef, Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen members are pictured on a picket line...
Associated Press

Driver walkout halts trains as UK summer strike wave spreads

LONDON (AP) — Thousands of U.K. train drivers walked off the job Saturday in a strike over jobs, pay and conditions, scuppering services across much of the country. The action was the latest in a spreading series of strikes by British workers seeking substantial raises to offset soaring prices for food and fuel. The 24-hour […]
5 hours ago
Associated Press

Dutch arrest man linked to currency mixer Tornado Cash

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch financial prosecutors say they detained a man suspected of involvement in “concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering” through the virtual currency mixer Tornado Cash. The 29-year-old man was arrested Aug. 10 in Amsterdam, the financial prosecution service FIOD said in a statement Friday. The suspect’s identity was […]
5 hours ago
Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Liashko speaks to The Associated Press reporters during an intervi...
Associated Press

Ukrainian minister says Russia blocking access to medicines

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s health minister has accused Russian authorities of committing a crime against humanity by blocking access to affordable medicines in areas its forces have occupied since invading the country 5 1/2 months ago. In an interview with The Associated Press, Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Liashko said Russian authorities repeatedly have blocked […]
5 hours ago
ADDS NAME OF DETAINED PERSON Law enforcement officers detain Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, N.J., out...
Associated Press

Author Salman Rushdie on ventilator after New York stabbing

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (AP) — Salman Rushdie, whose novel “The Satanic Verses” drew death threats from Iran’s leader in the 1980s, was stabbed in the neck and abdomen Friday by a man who rushed the stage as the author was about to give a lecture in western New York. A bloodied Rushdie, 75, was flown to […]
5 hours ago
A view of the peninsula of Sirmione, on Garda lake, Italy, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. Lake Garda water ...
Associated Press

Italy’s Lake Garda shrinks to near-historic low amid drought

SIRMIONE Italy (AP) — Italy’s worst drought in decades has reduced Lake Garda, the country’s largest lake, to near its lowest level ever recorded, exposing swaths of previously underwater rocks and warming the water to temperatures that approach the average in the Caribbean Sea. Tourists flocking to the popular northern lake Friday for the start […]
5 hours ago
FILE - Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks before President Joe Biden signs the $1.2 trillion bipa...
Associated Press

Sinema took Wall Street money while killing tax on investors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona Democrat who single-handedly thwarted her party’s longtime goal of raising taxes on wealthy investors, received nearly $1 million over the past year from private equity professionals, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists whose taxes would have increased under the plan. For years, Democrats have promised to raise […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Wife of jailed Turkish activist says case is ‘inexplicable’