Turkey’s Constitutional Court will review in three days the detention of imprisoned philanthropist Osman Kavala on December 29th. This follows a decision by an Istanbul Court to maintain his detention, despite a European Court of Human Rights Ruling that his detention is politically motivated and violates his fundamental rights.
The impact of Kavala’s detention on religious freedom issues is explored in International Christian Concern (ICC)’s joint report entitled Turkey: Challenges Facing Christians 2016-2020. His case is featured in the section detailing how the erasure of Christianity from the collective memory of society is a tactic of persecution commonly used in Turkey. The report states, “Civil activists who promote the protection of cultural heritage, encourage dialogue about the genocide, and promote diversity in Turkish society are targeted by ultra-nationalist elements within the Turkish state and society.”
The report also asks, “Why are civil activists seeking to raise awareness of Turkey’s religious diversity and culture obstructed in their efforts and even penalized, rather than encouraged?”