Suspect accused of conspiring for coup attempt names journalist he had dinner with
A former employee of the United States Department and currently a Senior Fellow for Middle East studies at US-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) responded to allegations against him and jailed human rights defender Osman Kavala several years after an indictment based on these allegations was accepted by a Turkish court.
In doing so, he named a Turkish journalist he had dinner with at a specific date and place, an occasion that he was accused of meeting with Kavala.
The 2016 indictment held that Henri Barkey, allegedly a CIA advisor, conspired with Osman Kavala to obtain confidential information through political and military espionage, and that both took part in the process leading to the 15 July coup attempt in 2015.
The prosecution claimed that the dates of Barkey's visits to Turkey coincided with "incidents of critical significance for Turkey", and this could not be explained by "mere coincidence."
In February 2020, Barkey told Deutsche Welle Turkish that he knew Osman Kavala though they were not close friends, that they met only incidentally and never worked together in a project, and he did not talk with Kavala even once over the phone.
Barkey added that he incidentally met Kavala when he went to Karakoy Restaurant for dinner on 18 July 2016, and they chatted for a few minutes.
He tweeted more than two years later, on Saturday, to say that the person he had dinner with on the evening of 18 July 2016 in Karakoy Restaurant was Turkish journalist Asli Aydintasbas.
Aydintasbas responded with a tweet saying that "she is apparently faced with a sinister operation."
"A person who has provided no explanation and information despite all calls urging him to do so in order to respond to rumors about him, has suddenly started a new controversy. It is noteworthy that this person, who has so far rejected all requests to share information that will invalidate baseless allegations against Osman Kavala, has decided to speak now."