Turkish-German Forum of Culture, PEN International, PEN Centre Germany, (aspiring) PEN Berlin, Academy of Science and Reporters without Borders are deeply concerned about the broadcast of a film series on the streaming service of the Turkish state broadcaster TRT, which shows a discrediting and disparaging portrayal of cultural promoter and intellectual Osman Kavala.
This is despite the fact that Kavala was unlawfully sentenced to life incommunicado detention in Turkey on April 25, 2022, on flimsy charges – a sentence that is not even final and is being outlawed by the international community, including Germany. The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly called on the Turkish government to immediately release Osman Kavala and other political prisoners such as Selahattin Demirtaş.
Considering the close relations between Turkey and Germany, we call on the European Commission, the German Government and the Foreign Office, as well as to all concerned authorities and institutions to take appropriate steps and express their concern about this unacceptable action and such propaganda.
The TV series defaming and disparaging Osman Kavala as an enemy of the state is another alarming step taken by the AKP government, which goes beyond the limits of human and legal principles. As a broadcaster that also reaches a significant number of Turkish-speaking people in Germany, TRT has a responsibility towards truth, objectivity and the protection of human rights. Broadcasting such a program, which also appears to be aimed at inciting the Turkish public against Osman Kavala, is a violation of journalistic ethics and respect for the fundamental rights of a detainee.
Turkish-German Forum of Culture, PEN International, PEN Centre Germany, (aspiring) PEN Berlin, Academy of Science and Reporters without Borders also ask other civil society organizations and the international community to continue to advocate for the release of Osman Kavala and all political prisoners in Turkey.
Turkish-German Forum of Culture, PEN International, PEN Centre Germany, (aspiring) PEN Berlin, Academy of Science and Reporters without Borders
PEN Berlin. We stand by our word.