Vienna, 20 October 2017 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed dismay after learning about the detention of prominent Turkish peace activist and businessman Osman Kavala on Wednesday, 18 October.
Kavala is known for his work with various NGOs and as the Board Chair of the Andalou Kultur (Anadolu Kültür) nonprofit, established by artists in 2002. He is also widely known for his pro-Armenian activities.
It was reported that he was detained during his return from a meeting of a project planned in cooperation with the German Goethe Institute.. He was detained overnight on 18-19 October without being given an actual reason at Istanbul airport. Police also entered the office of Anadolu Kultur Foundation and seized his laptop.
SEEMO deeply condemns the behavior and actions of Turkish authorities and calls on them to release Kavala from detention. Groundless arrests and detentions are a clear sign that institutions in the country have the objective of silencing journalists and all free thinkers at any cost.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.