Ahmet Sever, the ex-advisor to the former President Abdullah Gül, wrote in his column at Turkish news portal T24 about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s old ties with Georges Soros, a Hungarian-American billionaire and financial speculator known for his international conspiracies and supporting colourful revolutions.
The article directly addressed Erdoğan’s accusations against Soros-linked Osman Kavala, the recently arrested businessman. In response to critics of the arrest, Erdoğan had called Kavala "Soros of Turkey" and said the latter’s being an NGO representative would not "cloak his connections", implying the latter’s ties with the Western conspirators.
Following the arrest on November 1, Kavala was charged with "attempting to overthrow the government" and "constitutional order" in connection with the July 2016 coup attempt.
George Soros (L) and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) in a meeting
‘Erdoğan asked for support from Soros, and got it’
Sever, in his article, slammed Erdoğan for these words, reminding his relationship with Soros in the early years of his rule. The ex-advisor mentioned, in an approving tone, Erdoğan and his party's approach to Soros to ask for support in the EU negotiations.
"January 2003... In Davos, you had met with George Soros, asking his support... And he did... With the support of the Open Society Foundation’s Turkey branch, a Commission for Independent Turkey had been established... As successive reforms were getting through the Assembly, the Commission members were shuttling between European capitals to lobby for Turkey. And you were giving them red carpet treatment" said Sever, to refute Erdoğan’s accusations against Kavala for being a stooge of the Western powers.
Sever also mentioned that the President Erdoğan's daughter, Sümeyye Erdoğan, had done an internship in the TESEV, an endowment in Turkey supported by Soros.
Ahmet Sever had been the principal consultant of the former President Abdullah Gül, one of the co-founders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Sever has adopted a dissenting stance against Erdoğan in recent years, in line with the emerged Erdoğan-Gül competition.
Links of Osman Kavala
Kavala is known for his liberal and pro-EU position in Turkish politics. Despite the present controversies with President Erdoğan, Kavala had supported him until recent years together with other prominent liberal figures.
Osman Kavala is the owner of Kavala Group, a conglomerate active in many sectors, and known for its business links with Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). A company linked to the holding had won tenders of the military for missile protection system improvement of F-16 fighter jets. Another company running under the Group, İki Nokta Bilişim Inc., provided geo-coding services to private and public institutions, including Istanbul Police Directorate and NATO.
Kavala has also actively participated in several pro-liberal NGOs as a board member, including Turkey branches of the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly and the Open Society Foundation. The latter is initiated by Georges Soros.