Turkish authorities released 12 people, arrested one who were detained on Friday under an investigation into jailed rights activist Osman Kavala.
Police have said the 14 people detained on Friday, including two prominent academics, were accused of working with Kavala to incite the May 2013 unrest, which began as demonstrations against urban development plans at Istanbul’s Gezi Park but later turned into nationwide anti-government protests.
Kavala, a well-known civil society leader, was jailed a year ago pending trial for trying to overthrow the government, in a process authorities say started with the Gezi demonstrations and culminated with an attempted coup in July 2016. No indictment has been issued against Kavala.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has called Kavala ‘Turkey’s Soros,’ a reference to American billionaire George Soros, whose Open Society Foundations have funded education, health, justice and media projects around the world. Pro-government media in Turkey accuse Kavala of engaging in anti-government conspiracies.