Armenian, Turkish NGOs release statement for jailed philanthropist

A group of NGOs from Turkey and Armenia signed a joint statement for the release of Osman Kavala, a Turkish philanthropist who was jailed in November.

The Civilitas Foundation, Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Public Journalism Club and Regional Research Centre from Armenia, Citizens Assembly and Turkey's Hrant Dink Foundation signed the statement.

Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos quoted the statement, which read as follows:

We as civil society organisations which have worked with Osman Kavala since 2012 for the reconciliation of our two neighbouring countries, Turkey and Armenia, are very concerned about his arrest.

We demand the immediate release of Osman Kavala, who put an enormous effort for the end of enmity and prejudices between the two peoples, through cultural and artistic work, and through contact and dialogue.

Osman Kavala was taken into custody on Oct 18, 2017 as part of an investigation into the July 2016 coup attempt. A Turkish judge ordered his arrest on Nov 1, 2017.