| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Turkish philanthropist says political pressure led to life sentence ruling

Osman Kavala, a Turkish philanthropist who was sentenced to life in prison in 2013 for attempting to overthrow the government by financing protests, said on Wednesday that the ruling violated legal standards and reflected political pressure on the court.

Last week, an Istanbul court sentenced Kavala in a case that Europe’s highest court and Western powers claim is politically motivated.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), as well as Ankara’s Western allies, including Washington, have called for Kavala’s detention to be lifted.

The ruling is seen as an attempt by President Tayyip Erdogan’s government to silence critics in countries such as the United States, France, and Germany.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Tuesday that the West had focused on the sentence due to its funding for and “use” of the human rights activist.

  • Reuters