Turkey & the Rise of Authoritarianism

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Curated by Laura McDermott

While the world is focused on Ukraine, is Turkey plummeting into an authoritarian regime? The sentencing of Osman Kavala may point to this.

  • On Monday, a criminal court in Istanbul convicted Osman Kavala of allegedly conspiring to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a failed 2016 coup and organizing anti-government protests.
  • Kavala is an activist and philanthropist. He has already been in prison for four years, despite calls from the international community that he be released - he denies all accusations.
  • Kavala became caught up with President Erdogan, as he was a board member of the Turkish chapter of Open Society Foundations - funded by the financier George Soros - until it was shut down in 2018.
  • Erdogan has accused Soros of supporting the anti-government protests which divided Turkey and other nations. Kavala’s link to Soros fuelled the President’s hostility towards him.
  • Western allies have described the move as an attempt to silence opponents under a rule that is becoming increasingly authoritarian. A recent report said Turkey is now Europe’s second largest jailer.
  • Amnesty International’s European Director has described the sentencing as a blow to “everyone who believes in justice and human rights activism in Turkey and beyond.”
The Atlantic
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5 articles on this topic

Jerusalem Post

With world focused on Ukraine, Turkey grows more authoritarian - analysis

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Balkan Insight

After Russia, Turkey is Europe’s Largest Jailer, Report Says

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Turkey's pugnacious president

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The Atlantic

The Bad Guys Are Winning

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