Activist and businessman Osman Kavala, who has been in pretrial detention for over a year without the start of any trial proceedings, said in a statement on Monday that he is waiting for an indictment to appear to disprove accusations that he was a financier of the Gezi Park anti-government protests in 2013.
Kavala issued a written statement in reaction to detentions on Nov. 16 that targeted academics with ties to him due to their links to the Anadolu Kültür Foundation, which he chairs.
“I am really saddened that baseless allegations about me have surfaced and that 14 people were detained because of them,” Kavala said in the statement.
“I am waiting for the preparation of the indictment against me to disprove the baseless allegations that I was the financier and director of the Gezi events.”
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, often accuses Kavala of alleged involvement in the protests that were sparked in reaction to Erdoğan’s oppressive policies.
In his statement Kavala also criticized the long pretrial detentions in Turkey, calling the practice dismissive of human freedoms.