On 20 May 2018, Aysel Çelikel, Rakel Dink, Üstün Ergüder, Turgut Kazan, Murat Özçelik, Yücel Sayman, and Ayşe Soysal made a joint statement regarding the situation of Osman Kavala who has been in Silivri prison for more than 200 days. Below is the translation of the original statement:

We, who carried out public responsibility in the past but more importantly, who care about being good citizens, sincerely believe that the privilege of enjoying the rights of the country and the obligation to take responsibility towards the country cannot be separated from one another. We also believe that one of the many necessities of taking responsibility towards the country is drawing attention to injustices and testifying to truths.

Another common point of us is our acquaintance with Osman Kavala for many years. We are the witnesses of Osman Kavala’s respected, humble, and democratic personality and life.

Osman Kavala that we know as such has been imprisoned for six months. Highly powerful evidence must exist to deny someone’s freedom for so long; yet, there is no indictment. This treatment to such a respectable person injures our conscience and the conscience of society. Members of a society do not have to be of the same opinion in every matter, but they should not be pushed into giving up hopes on each other’s consciousness or justice mechanisms.

Either a serious indictment should be set before the public or Osman Kavala should be released.

Aysel Çelikel, Former Justice Minister

Rakel Dink, President of Hrant Dink Foundation

Üstün Ergüder, Former Rector of Bogazici University

Turgut Kazan, Former President of the Istanbul Bar Association 

Murat Özçelik, Former Undersecretary of Public Order and Security of the Ministry of the Interior

Yücel Sayman, Former President of the Istanbul Bar Association 

Ayşe Soysal, Former Rector of Bogazici University