ISTANBUL (DW) — Turkish media reported on Thursday, October 19, that prominent civil society figure and businessman Osman Kavala was detained Wednesday at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport upon returning from the southeastern city of Gaziantep.
Kavala has been remanded in custody for seven days ahead of a court hearing, Agence France-Presse news agency reported, citing his lawyer Ferat Cagil.
Cagil said the reason for the detention remained unclear.
“The case is confidential. Whatever is said would be speculative now. We will find out when he testifies,” he said.
Tens of thousands of people have been arrested and many more dismissed from government jobs in Turkey as part of a massive crackdown by the government following last year’s failed military coup.
The arrests, including those of several Germans, have sparked international concerns about the deterioration of democracy and free speech under increasingly authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.