ISTANBUL - I have been in prison in Turkey for two years. On Tuesday, I appeared
in a court in Istanbul for my third hearing. But the court refused to end my detention.
I am a businessman and a philanthropist. On Oct. 17, 2017, I was returning home to
Istanbul from Gaziantep, a city in southeastern Turkey that hosts hundreds of
thousands Syrian refugees. I had been talking to municipal officials about a cultural
project involving Syrian refugee artists.
I was detained at an Istanbul airport.
I thought it was a mistake and expected to be
released after giving my statement. After two weeks in a small cell with other
detainees, I was questioned at the Police Headquarters. Immediately afterward, I was
arrested. I have been in prison ever since.
For years, I have been managing my business and participating in and supporting
various civil society projects
, including those around our Kurdish and Armenian
minorities, which were considered taboo. My work drew hostility from certain groups,
but I did not face any legal problems.
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