Statement by Osman Kavala

August 8, 2022

Henri Barkey has recently declared that I was not the person who had dinner with him at Karaköy restaurant on July 18, 2016. The prosecution knew this fact well from the very beginning.

In the investigation carried out in the restaurant, the police found out who were sitting at which tables that evening. This was also confirmed during my interrogation at the police station. When I was accused of “organizing the Gezi events” and “participating in the July 15 coup attempt” at the police interrogation, it was mentioned that I had greeted Barkey and talked to him very briefly at the restaurant, and this was cited as an evidence of contact between us. However, in the second indictment, which was prepared after the Gezi trial ended in acquittal, that included the allegation of organizing the July 15 coup attempt and engaging in espionage activities with Barkey, the above mentioned event was changed to a planned meeting and conversation.

In the last desicion of the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled that Turkey had not fulfilled its obligation to comply with the previous judgment of the Court, the two judges making additional evaluations, pointed out that different narration of the same event constituted an example for ongoing efforts to justify my continued detention.

This was not the only manipulation in the second indictment. Mobile phone signals from adjacent base stations were cited as proof that I met with Barkey frequently. However, the reason for the convergence was evident from the HTS records: The convergence was caused by my phone signaling from the base station next to my office in Elmadağ, and Barkey's phone signaling from nearby base stations when he was around Taksim. What is worse still, in the indictment it was alleged that - even without the need to put forward such so-called evidence - I had contacted those (FETÖ/PDY) responsible for the coup d’etat and carried out activities together.

After the acquittal verdicts in the Gezi trial were overturned and the sentences demanded by the government were imposed, this false accusation of espionage, which was prepared to continue my detention at all costs, was no longer needed. 

The obligation of the prosecution to objectively evaluate the evidence for and against by examining the events and facts with an impartial eye and to inform the court honestly is determined by local laws and the norms of the ECtHR. Today, in our country, this obligation has been actually abolished.

Unlawful trials are carried out based on indictments prepared by prosecutors under political influence, using methods of concealing, falsifying, and interpreting according to conspiracy theories. 

The claim that I had dinner with Henri Barkey at the Karaköy restaurant is a small but illuminating example of such conduct.

Osman Kavala