Turkey issues detention request for businessman Kavala hours after acquittal

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's office demanded on Tuesday the detention of Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala, hours after his acquittal, over an investigation into the failed coup in 2016, T24 news site reported.

The warrant against Kavala, who was expected to be released later today, has been issued as part of an investigation launched into the failed putsch of July 15, 2016, on charges of "attempting to disrupt the Constitutional order" as per the Article 309 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK)," it said.

Over 300 people were killed and more than 2,100 were injured during the failed putsch of July 15, 2016, which Ankara maintains was orchestrated by Gülen movement. The Turkish government says the religious group, with U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen at helm, led a long-running scheme to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by infiltrating Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Kavala, who has been behind bars for 840 days as part of the Gezi trial, was acquitted earlier on Tuesday, along with eight other civil society activists, of terrorism charges linked to the 2013 Gezi Park protests.

The Gezi protests, which started as a small-scale peaceful sit-in to demonstrate against the proposed destruction of a small Istanbul park, quickly spread across the country, mushrooming into the biggest demonstrations against Erdoğan’s Islamist government to date.