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Turkey holds first Kavala hearing after row with Western allies -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Lawyers and opposition legislators gather before the Justice Palace, Caglayan Courthouse as a Turkish court begins the retrial Osman Kavala, philanthropist, and 15 other for their roles in the nationwide protests of 2013, Istanbul, Tu

By Ali Kucukgocmen

ISTANBUL, (Reuters) – Friday’s hearing will be held by a Turkish court in connection with Osman Kavala’s trial as a philanthropist. The case sparked a diplomatic row between Turkey and the West after it was demanded his immediate release.

Kavala was in prison for over four years without being convicted. His trial has been criticized as political motivated and symbolical of President Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown against dissent.

Turkey’s government refutes the claim and claims that its courts are independently run.

Erdogan threatened last month to expel 10 diplomats from countries including Germany, France, and the United States. They had echoed a European Court of Human Rights ruling that Kavala must be freed.

Further deterioration of Western ties could lead to further pressure on the currency. This has reached new records since September, largely due to aggressive interest rates cuts.

‘MEANINGLESS’

Kavala was exonerated last year on charges related nationwide protests that took place in 2013. But, the ruling was overturned in this year’s case and was combined with other charges from 2016 in connection to a coup attempt. He denied all wrongdoing.

Kavala 64 said it would “meaningless” for him not to be there as an impartial trial is impossible due to Erdogan’s comments.

He said that he was a citizen who defends the rule of law and didn’t think it right to legitimize the situation in which the judiciary finds itself in.

Kavala and 51 others are being tried in three cases involving the protests of 2013 and a coup against Erdogan’s government in 2016.

Kavala was released by the ECHR in 2019 after there wasn’t a reasonable suspicion that he had been involved in an offence. The ECHR also ruled Kavala’s imprisonment served only to silence him.

If Kavala remains unfree, the Council of Europe will initiate infringement proceedings against Turkey. This could lead to Turkey’s expulsion from the Council of Europe.

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.