Turkey says U.S. call for release of Kavala incompatible with rule of law

Turkey said a request by the United States to free businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala, jailed for over 1,000 days without a conviction, was an attempt to interfere in its judicial process.

"The statement of the U.S. Department of State calling for the end to Osman Kavala's detention is incompatible with the rule of law," Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Tuesday.

Kavala has been imprisoned since November 2017, facing charges of conspiring to overthrow the government. Prosecutors accuse him of masterminding the Gezi Park protests of 2013, Turkey’s biggest anti-government demonstrations since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Islamist-leaning party came to power in 2002.

“We call upon Turkey to comply with its own commitment to justice and rule of law and to release Osman Kavala from detention, while pursuing a just, transparent, and speedy resolution to his case,” Cale Brown, deputy spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, said in a written statement on Monday.

The rule of law prevails in Turkey and Kavala's trial is being carried out by independent courts, Aksoy said.

"No state or any person can give orders to the Turkish courts about their judicial processes," he said.