Osman Kavala

DW Transtel | 88 4959
1 x 45 min

The Turkish human rights activist and arts patron Osman Kavala has been in prison since 2017.
The philanthropist, who campaigns for democracy and the rule of law in Turkey, is regarded as
a public enemy by the Erdogan government.

Osman Kavala is the founder and chairman of the arts and culture foundation Anadolu Kültür
and has initiated numerous projects to promote dialogue between different cultures and
communities and strengthen Turkish civil society. He also champions the rights of minorities in
Turkey, first and foremost the Kurdish and Armenian ones.

The businessman was originally arrested on charges of masterminding the 2013 Gezi Park
mass protests against the government of President Erdogan. He was acquitted of that charge in
February 2020. He was released from detention at the Silivri high security prison but re-arrested
just a few hours later – and this time accused of involvement in an attempted coup. In 2022,
Kavalawas sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment.

His detention drew international condemnation and is seen as part of widespread measures
to curtail freedom of expression and human rights in Turkey. The European Court of Human
Rights ordered the human rights activist’s release in 2019 and described the detention as
politically motivated.

Linda Vierecke’s film draws a portrait of Osman Kavala using his own words and hearing from
people who were influenced by him or who are close to him.

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