Vincent Hervouët 12:08 p.m., January 18, 2022, modified at 12:11 p.m., January 18, 2022

Turkish justice on Monday kept businessman Osman Kavala in detention, imprisoned for four years without trial, ignoring the formal notice sent to Ankara by the Council of Europe demanding his release.

A situation that will further complicate the already very difficult relations between the European Union and Turkey.


Osman Kavala will remain in prison.

Turkish justice has decided to ignore the recommendations of the Council of Europe which demanded his immediate release, under penalty of sanctions.

"Yesterday morning, nine Western ambassadors and two diplomats from the European delegation crowded into the courtroom of the Istanbul court. And so it was together that they suffered the refusal, the contempt, the public spanking that inflicted on them by the magistrates by deciding for the third time in three months to keep Osman Kavala behind bars.

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The person concerned expected it so much that he refused to leave his cell.

He has been languishing there without judgment for four years.

During his four years, he had time to think about it.

He said he no longer had faith in Turkish justice, which is akin to an innocent person's confession.

Hardened criminals or professional politicians know how susceptible magistrates are.

To coax them, he repeats that they have confidence in the justice of their country.

Osman Kavala, the supporter of a Turkey in the EU

He is the enemy that President Erdogan has chosen, his pet peeve, his scapegoat. He embodies everything the Sultan hates. An heir, born in Paris and raised in the United Kingdom, who represents the symbol of cosmopolitanism. He is a supporter of Turkey tied to Europe, a secularist whose relations with the Islamist movement are uninhibited. He was one of the first to denounce the sect of Fethullah Gülen, at the time when Erdogan agreed like thieves in fair with the preacher to infiltrate the state.

Osman Kavala has put his fortune at the service of all kinds of cultural projects which militate for the rights of minorities, the Kurdish question, reconciliation with the Armenians.

Erdogan hates this Robin Hood and compares him as a supreme insult to Georges Soros.

He had him imprisoned on the pretext that he had pushed the Gezi demonstrations in 2013. And when this accusation was swept aside, another immediately took over: participation in the 2016 coup d'etat where he is accused of wanted to destabilize the state.

He faces life imprisonment.

The state is sacred in Turkey.

Turkey is the state. 

A Turkish economy under oxygen 

The Council of Europe, which brings together 47 countries on the continent, well beyond the 27 of the European Union, has given Turkey formal notice to deliver its observations in this case, in other words to explain itself. The ultimatum expires tomorrow. We would be curious to see what there is to say in the Kavala dossier. Without an answer, the Council will be up against the wall and will have to take action. It will only have to impose sanctions. It would be the very first time in 70 years of existence. This is only the second time there has been a formal notice.

Turkey has been a member of the Council of Europe for 70 years. She cannot denounce the interference. She has sovereignly agreed to submit to the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. So, obviously, this will give Erdogan the opportunity to victimize himself, to denounce the conspiracy from abroad. It is also paying off, but not necessarily this time, given the economic rout that the Turks are undergoing, carried by galloping inflation led by an omniscient president, who is reinventing the laws of the market, burning up currency reserves, leaving absolutely flabbergasted experts. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been playing the crisis with Europe for fifteen years. The European Union has always folded to avoid it. It is not said that the Council of Europe will do the same.The breaking point, in any case, is very close."