Turkish Court Sentences Philanthropist Kavala to Life in Prison

    Photo: Getty Images [via The Wall Street Journal]

    The Facts

    • An Istanbul court on Mon. sentenced Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala to life in prison without parole. Cleared of espionage charges, Kavala was found guilty of "attempting to overthrow the government."

    • First arrested in 2017 in connection with the 2013 Gezi Park protests, Kavala was acquitted in 2020. The verdict was immediately overturned and the businessman was imprisoned again for his alleged involvement in the attempted military coup in 2016.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Under the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey is increasingly turning into a dictatorship without any respect for the rule of law. This devastating conviction is testimony to the fact that freedom of expression and human rights in today's Turkey are nothing more than a facade.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    It's striking that the West, and above all the US government, consistently portrays itself as a rule-of-law authority, but only when another country's government threatens its interests. Turkey is well advised to reject the interference of the transatlantic community in its internal affairs and jurisdiction.

    Establishment split



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