An Istanbul court ordered prominent Turkish businessman and rights activist Osman Kavala be jailed pending trial on suspicion of attempting to overthrow the government.

He was detained last month in Istanbul as part of an investigation into US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating the failed coup last year.

Kavala was charged Wednesday with trying to overthrow the constitutional order and the Republic of Turkey, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Kavala is the chairman of the cultural institute Anadolu Kultur, which is also in partnership with the Goethe-Institut in Istanbul. He is also on the board of several civil society organizations.

International human rights organizations had sharply criticized his detention.

Since the abortive coup on July 15 last year, more than 150,000 people have been purged from their jobs in the public sector and military under emergency decrees, while 50,000 people are jailed on ties to Gulen. He denies the charges that he plotted the coup.

Source: dpa/GNA/


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