Erdoğan defends detention of academics with ties to activist businessman Kavala

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday responded to reactions from the West to the detention of 13 academics on Friday for their alleged involvement in the Gezi Park protests against the government in the summer of 2013.

According to Erdoğan, the people who were detained had ties to the “financier” of the Gezi Park protests, Osman Kavala. Lashing out at the West for criticism of the police raid on the academics, Erdoğan said there are so many things that the Turkish government knows and that “just like in the rest of the world, there are people who finance such things [protests] in Turkey.”

“Why do you get uncomfortable when such people are detained?” Erdoğan asked during a speech at his party’s weekly meeting in parliament. Erdoğan also claimed that when similar events happen in the West, the West reacts strongly.

The 13 academics were detained for their alleged ties to jailed activist businessman Kavala. One of the detainees, Yiğit Aksakoğlu, was arrested while others were released.

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