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Osman Kavala dispute sign of rising tension in Turkey

United States Embassy in Ankara and other U.S. consulates in Turkey published a joint message titled “Statement on Four Years of Osman Kavala’s Detention”. It is explained in the statement that the continuing delays in his trial cast a shadow over the principles of democracy and rule of law. The embassies of Germany, the U.S.A., Denmark, Finland, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Norway, and New Zealand in Turkey believe that a just and rapid resolution to his case must be provided.

Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs protested the statement in question. 

Ankara is a very small place and if you happen to be a flying kite, you will know all the answers.

Even the topics that are extremely private will be blabbed around in the corners of the kebab restaurants in Cukurambar.

­­Even if it is not your enemy, your “friend” will blow the gaff.

It has been reported that there is tension between President Erdogan and MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) leader Bahceli, and the two are not on good terms with each other contrary to what is being seen or shown to others.

Thus, the resignation of Hamit Kocabey, a member of HSK, The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, made this dispute come to light.

And now, there are further debates that the ongoing detention of the businessman Osman Kavala is a part of this tension.


The “disrupter kebab shops play a part in unemployment” statement made by the MHP leader Devlet Bahceli in the party group meeting held in the Turkish Grand National Assembly carried the traces of the Kavala crisis that happened yesterday.

Bahceli’s target was Osman Kavala and the Kurdish Initiative although the people shoot the breeze when they could not even understand the humor when Bahceli made the statement 

Do not say “what does that have to do with anything?” now.

The people who prepare the speech text of Bahceli like to play with the words like that. The kebab shop mentioned there is the Cezayir Lokantasi (Algerian Diner) in Beyoglu, Istanbul and the owner was Osman Kavala.

Cezayir Lokantasi (with Bahceli’s own words) owned by Kavala is the rendezvous point of the “influential agents” according to the sources of MHP. 

The same sources describe the diner as the “Headquarters”. Therefore, MHP made a showdown to AKP (Justice and Development Party) without giving any names with the “disrupter kebab shop” statement.

Thus, the verdict that dictates Osman Kavala will remain in detention was passed just after a few days of this statement. 

There is no point to lose a single second on what charges Kavala is being accused of, what his indictment includes, and which evidence was brought forward about him.

Thus, I am not going to go back and explain the tragicomic adventure of his 4-year detention and trial. 

Kavala is just a political hostage, just like Selahattin Demirtas, and the government is only keeping him for bargaining.

We could say “was keeping” though because one side of the ruling coalition says “let’s release Kavala since we got what we could”, while the other side says “never ever”. 


Let’s go back a little.

The Erdogan regime was acting just like a crafty merchant and would take important names as hostages, detain them, bargain with somebody over the hostage, and would release them when they would think they profited enough already. 

We have seen Pastor Brunson, journalist Deniz Yucel, and some other examples in the past. 

The list is quite long.

These people, who were taken hostage according to the political agenda, were used for bargaining with the respective countries and released at a later stage. Neither Brunson nor Yucel acknowledged why they were arrested in the first place or how they were released.

Both names were released thanks to political bargains.

In fact, then-president Donald Trump stated in front of the cameras that he called Erdogan and requested Brunson to be released and that Erdogan did not “refuse” him.

Erdogan did the same thing for Osman Kavala. He has been bargaining over Kavala for a very long time.

Kavala is an important name both for the U.S. and E.U. and Erdogan knew the “real value” of the hostage he is holding.

Erdogan probably came to the conclusion that he could no longer detain Kavala any further that everybody expected Kavala to be released after the hearing on 8th October. 

However, with the leadership of the U.S., the embassy of 10 different countries urged for the release of Kavala with a joint statement since the expected release did not happen.

It was explained in the unprecedented statement that the ongoing detention of Kavala casts a shadow on the rule of law. 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has been mentioned as the “Ministry of Condemnation” for a long time, stepped in and called all the ambassadors of the related countries to the ministry building in the middle of the evening.

Members of AKP, primarily the Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu, made a protesting statement. These statements that “teach their place” dominated the current agenda of Turkey but the problem still exists.

Erdogan’s health problems are too serious to hide.  

The party is boiling inside. The economy hit the rocks. We are being dragged down to a disaster with such wrong steps taken towards foreign policy.

Tension with the MHP rises as the rent areas for sharing die away. In the simplest terms, the camp of Bahceli, who have already acknowledged that the end of the AKP government is coming to an end, does not want to stay under the debris.

The propagandists of the Palace are trying to pull through by leaving MHP holding the bag, especially about the security and judiciary scandals.

It is crucial to evaluate the resignation of HSK member Kocabey through this perspective.

In short, it will be possible to see further reflections of these “frequency distortions” between MHP and AKP in the upcoming days on different fronts.

Osman Kavala is the one who suffers throughout all this turmoil.

First, he was held hostage for a very long time as a victim of the dirty agenda of Erdogan.  And now he is being used by Bahceli against Erdogan.

Let’s see Erdogan’s counter-move against Bahceli.

We started the article with a description of the lobbies in Ankara. So let’s finish the same way.

Mustafa Unal, one of the most experienced and respected journalists in Ankara, once said in order to explain the shell games: “They say Istanbul is Byzantine but Ankara is the “fickle Byzantine.”

Unal personally became the victim of this treachery and he has been detained in Silivri for the last 5 years. But the “Byzantine games” of the capital are in full swing. 

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Adem Yavuz Arslan
Adem Yavuz Arslan
Adem Yavuz Aslan is a leading Turkish investigative journalist in exile based in Washington, D.C.

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