ASPS President Calls for the Release of Osman Kavala

Strasbourg 21.02.2019

Nils Muižnieks, President of the Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe (ASPS) today called on the Turkish authorities to release Osman Kavala, the founder of the Istanbul-based European School of Politics immediately and drop all charges against him and the School’s Director, Hakan Altinay.

Nils Muižnieks voiced outrage at the demand by prosecutors earlier this week for life sentences for 16 people on charges of attempting to overthrow the government for their part in the 2013 Gezi protests.

“Justice in Turkey has become a sham. Anyone who criticises the government - whether an opposition politician, academic, civil society activist or journalist - is at risk of being accused of terrorism or seeking to overthrow the government”, the President said deploring that “the judiciary in Turkey has become a blunt tool of the government used to silence peaceful dissent”.