Turkey’s Kavala conviction earns sharp rebuke from US
The United States is “deeply troubled and disappointed” by a Turkish court’s decision to sentence prominent philanthropist and activist Osman Kavala to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“His unjust conviction is inconsistent with respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement Monday evening.
It was “promising in that it shows that the Biden administration has not entirely muted its criticism of blatant human rights violations in Turkey,” said Merve Tahiroglu, the Turkey program coordinator at the Project on Middle East Democracy think tank.
The Biden administration took aim at Turkey’s rights record on several occasions last year. Among its concerns were Ankara’s handling of student protests, a plan to disband a pro-Kurdish opposition party and its decision to withdraw from a European convention aimed at protecting women.