I support a number of important appeals:
It is time to democratize firms, decommodify work, and remediate the environment!
Free Osman Kavala! (Update 2020)
In a letter to the Financial Times published on November 7 2017, we strongly criticised the wholly unjustified imprisonment of the leading Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala. He has been incarcerated ever since. Now the European Court of Human Rights has authoritatively confirmed our assessment. Mr Kavala, along with 15 others, is charged under Article 312 of the Turkish Criminal Code, and faces a life sentence. That article concerns the overthrow of the government through violence. The Strasbourg court observes with amazement that the indictment makes no such allegation regarding the use of force, and that even the police questioning included no questions regarding violence. The court concludes that all of Mr Kavala’s activities constitute actions guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights, and demands his immediate release. Mr Kavala has already spent 800 unnecessary days behind bars, yet Turkish courts — and above all, we must conclude, their political masters — have refused to release him. Last week, 12 bar associations which represent two-thirds of all lawyers in Turkey, issued a joint statement condemning 30th Felony Court of Istanbul for its unprecedented arbitrariness and gross due process violations. This week, the Court took no notice and condemned Mr Kavala to continued detention. In its treatment of Mr Kavala, Turkey is in clear breach of its commitments under the European Convention on Human Rights and has along the way alienated almost every friend it once had in Europe.
Ash Ivan Krastev
We are fighting to Free the Turkish intellectual Osman Kavala!, in Bianet, September 18, 2018
Charges against Kavala are beyond ridiculous! in the Financial Times, November 7, 2017:
We write to draw attention to the wholly unjustified detention of Osman Kavala, one of Turkey’s most prominent citizens and a committed European. Mr Kavala has been charged with almost single-handedly destroying Turkey’s constitutional order. Mr Kavala is well known across European academia and civil society. For decades, he has used arts, culture and dialogue to facilitate exchanges throughout Turkey, its neighbourhood, and across Europe. He is modest, gracious, and decent to a fault. He is the favoured partner of many major European institutions. When the Council of Europe needed a partner in Turkey, they sought Mr Kavala. Turkey, is of course a founding member of the Council of Europe. He was also one of the first to warn against covert Gulenists networks, who were responsible for last year’s coup attempt. After 14 days in police custody, a court in Istanbul decided, on November 1, to charge Mr Kavala with attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and for having ties to terrorist organisations. For a man who has spent his life advancing democracy and dialogue, and who gave an early warning against the dangers of Gulenist influence, these charges are beyond ridiculous. Turkey has endured a serious trauma in the July 2016 attempted coup, and Europe should have done more to show solidarity with the Turkish people. European states and institutions should assist Turkey in its efforts to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the failed coup attempt, but only if the Turkish judiciary drops such farcical and grotesque prosecutions as that of Mr Kavala. As friends of the Turkish people, we ask the Turkish authorities to release Mr Kavala.
Timothy Garton Ash
Other Appeals and Initiatives I support
I am supporting the European Citizens Initiative “Voters Without Borders” which is all about transnational Europe.