Turkey has independent justice: Erdogan on Kavala verdict

Turkey is a state of rule of law and has independent justice, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, defying internal and external criticisms regarding the aggravated life sentence given to businessman Osman Kavala in the Gezi trial.

“Well, the latest verdict about a certain person disturbed some circles. So, who is this man? This man is Turkey’s Soros and behind-the-scenes coordinator of the Gezi events. Our judiciary made its final decision on him which has seriously disturbed the well-known circles,” Erdoğan said in an address at an iftar dinner late April 27.

Erdoğan referred to George Soros, a billionaire allegedly known for his influence in popular movements that led to the toppling of the elected governments in Georgia and Ukraine in the past decades. A court in Istanbul sentenced Kavala to life and seven other defendants to 18 years in prison for trying to topple the government through the 2013 Gezi protests. The opposition parties in Turkey, the United States, the European Union and the Council of Europe have all slammed the conviction.

“No offense, there is law and justice in this country, and they have issued this verdict for the good sake of their belief,” he stated, criticizing some countries for tolerating the PKK’s public events in their countries.

“You don’t tell them anything, but you express disapproval about our decisions,” he said, calling on everyone to comply with the verdict of the Turkish justice system on the Gezi case. “You either comply with it or not. This justice ruling will be implemented. From a Turkey where rights and freedoms were prohibited, we have reached a self-confident Turkey where everyone can freely express their opinion provided it does not praise terrorism and advocate violence,” Erdoğan noted.

The Turkish justice system has proven its independence by not bowing down to the internal and external lobbies and their spokesman, Erdoğan hailed, saying, “The Turkish judiciary is not after image but justice and legality that guarantee the survival of the country.”