Osman Kavala's colleagues and arts and culture actors who visited Silivri Prison on 20 January 2018 made a statement. They unfurled banners stating "We are waiting" (Bekliyoruz) and "Free Osman Kavala" (Osman Kavala'ya Özgürlük).

Statement by Osman Kavala's colleagues and arts and culture actors

We gathered here to express our solidarity with Osman Kavala, who was arrested on irrational accusations.

Osman Kavala was detained on October 18, 2017 in an airplane, as if he is a felony about to flee; and on November 1, he was arrested at dawn based on no evidence.

As his friends, artist friends and colleagues, we know his work very well. Everything he has worked on was out in the open, and none of them constituted a crime. We are sure of this, because Osman Kavala is such a transparent and honest person that he could account, not solely to the state but to anyone who works with him, for every word he says, every work he does, and every penny he has spent.

Without seeking his own interest, he has worked for the progress and the spread of the arts and culture production all over the country. He has supported the artists and local initiatives as much as possible. He has struggled for artistic productions to be emancipated from certain frameworks as well as to broaden their reach from domestic to international arena. He has strived for the centuries long conflicts of this land to reach peace through arts and culture.

For every segment of society, he has always been on the side of those who suffered from injustice. He has shown solidarity with the politicians, journalists, and academics who are tried to be silenced; he has supported the civil society organizations working in the field of human rights and social rights and the communities in need of assistance during difficult times.

Osman Kavala is a conscientious, humble, egalitarian, and respectful person. He has always been open to anyone who wants to share their opinion, their work, or who is looking for advice. For decades, he has worked for democracy, pluralism, peace and human rights with devotion. We vouch for him with all our minds and our consciences.

We want him to be released as soon as possible and Turkey to be freed of this great shame.

Osman Kavala's Colleagues and Arts and Culture Actors, 20 January 2018