3 November, 2017

The membership of AICA International is global and culturally diverse and we believe firmly in the principle of freedom of expression. AICA is appalled at the news that Osman Kavala, one of Turkey’s most important intellectual and cultural figures has arrested. Osman Kavala has played a prominent part both in defending the rights and liberties of all in Turkey, and in bringing together people of different political viewpoints to discuss their differences and to work out a common language of civil debate. He has also played an important role not just in encouraging discussion inside Turkey but also in presenting the complexities of Turkey to the outside world. His work has been invaluable in making many people outside the country understand and appreciate Turkey.

AICA International urges the Turkish authorities to desist from punishing individuals for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression. We call for for the immediate release of Osman Kavala and support the work of all those in Turkey striving to create a strong civil society in which political disagreements and disputes can be resolved through public discussion and mutual respect.

Dr. Marek Bartelik

President of AICA International