Imprisoned Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala has countered claims by Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), of being a “Soros agent and a spy”. In his message from prison, Kavala stated that these allegations serve to legitimise the practice of enemy law in the judiciary and perpetuate a perception of hostility.
Kavala, who has been imprisoned for 2,201 days in the Gezi Park Trial, refuted the accusations by Erdoğan’s ultra-nationalist ally. He emphasised his lack of any special relationship with George Soros, compared to other board members of the Open Society Foundation. Kavala highlighted that the espionage charges against him were fabricated after his acquittal in the first Gezi trial. He argued that the use of such baseless accusations for political ends undermines Turkey’s democratic culture.
This response follows Bahçeli’s targeting of both Kavala and Selahattin Demirtaş, another political figure, in his speech at the MHP’s group meeting. Bahçeli was reacting to the newly elected Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Özgür Özel’s salute to the imprisoned duo, among many other dissidents, during the 38th Ordinary Congress of the CHP.