Statement by The neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK)
The neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) is dismayed at reports of the arrest and imprisonment of Osman Kavala. For many years, we have known and valued him as a supporter of art and culture in Turkey and as the initiator of numerous projects dedicated to intercultural cooperation. For us, Osman Kavala personifies like almost no other the hospitality and generosity, the intelligence and sophistication, the enthusiasm and resoluteness, the creativity and tolerance of Turkish civil society. The exchange and numerous conversations on many occasions in Istanbul and Berlin with this always friendly man have enriched anyone who ever dealt with him.
His commitment to peace, democracy, good-neighbourly relations and working for civil society has set an example for us and many artists and initiatives, serving as motivation and obligation. He has tirelessly sought to draw Europe’s attention to culture in Turkey – not only in Istanbul. We were very happy to conceive and organise together with Osman Kavala and Anadolu Kültür an exchange of Istanbul-based artists to Berlin in the frame of a stipend programme offered by the State of Berlin. We are fully convinced that all charges against him will turn out to be unfounded. We hope to see him in freedom again soon, so that we can successfully continue the cooperation we have started to the benefit of both of our countries and their cultures.
for the Executive Board and the members of the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK)
Ingo Arend, 25 December 2017