A Turkish public prosecutor called Thursday for a “hard” life sentence for businessman Osman Kavala, who was arrested 3 years ago.
The Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office revealed a new indictment against Kavala of “attempting to overthrow the government” for his alleged involvement in the failed coup in 2016 and with “political espionage”.The same accusations were leveled against the American researcher Henry Barkey. He described Kavala in the indictment as his “local assistant.”
Barki, who has visited Turkey several times, is a professor at the American University in Lehigh, Pennsylvania.
Prosecutors demanded three harsh life sentences, including stricter detention conditions against Kavala and Barki, for involvement in the 2016 coup attempt, and 20 years imprisonment for “espionage”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Osman Kavala is targeting the prominent figure in Turkish civil society. He accuses him of seeking to destabilize Turkey.
The businessman was first tried for his support in the 2013 anti-government protests known as the Gezi movement, which opposes Erdogan, while he was prime minister, before he was acquitted of the charges in February.
However, before his release, he was arrested and under investigation in the attempted coup against Erdogan in 2016.
His lawyer, Ilkan Koyungu, confirmed in July that there was “no evidence” against his client, who was known to support cultural projects that specifically support minority rights, the Kurdish question, and the Armenian-Turkish reconciliation.