Posts Tagged ‘Barış Çelik’

Turkey: assault on lawyers goes in overdrive

September 14, 2020

The lawyers followed up on “the cases of Gülen-affiliated defendants,” and “tried to manipulate the trials to the benefit of the terrorist organization under the guise of the practice of law,” the prosecutor’s statement read.

Rights groups and lawyers criticized the detention warrants and claimed that the latest move was part of a broader strategy to obliterate the right to a defense for many who are jailed on terror charges.

An assault on lawyers in Turkey was launched after the failed 2016 coup. This assault started with the arrest of the chair of the Konya Bar Association and 20 lawyers and has been ongoing since then,” said Barış Çelik, a lawyer who spoke to Turkish Minute. “Up until the present day, nearly 1,600 lawyers have been detained, more than 600 have been arrested and 441 have been convicted over activities related to the practice of law.”

Another law practitioner, Ömer Turanlı, told Turkish Minute that even though lawyers visited the courthouse regularly, they were rounded up by 1,500 police officers.

Due process was ignored, case files the lawyers had worked on were gathered as evidence and the lawyers were denied the right to choose their legal representatives, restricted instead to a special lawyer assigned by the prosecution,” Turanlı said. “All this unlawfulness aims to silence lawyers.”

The detentions come in the aftermath of the news that Turkey’s governing party has started working on an amendment to the law on lawyers following Erdoğan’s call on September 1 for the suspension of lawyers accused of links to terrorism

We should be discussing whether methods such as expulsion from the profession should be introduced for lawyers,” Erdoğan had told judges and prosecutors at a ceremony in Ankara.

Just as thieves should not be called on to defend burglars, “a lawyer who defends terrorists should not be a terrorist,” he had said.

President Erdoğan’s call had come after protests over the death of lawyer Ebru Timtik last month in an İstanbul hospital after a 238-day hunger strike in support of a fair trial. [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/08/29/human-rights-defender-ebru-timtik-dies-in-istanbul-hospital-after-238-days-hungerstrike/] Timtik was a member of the Contemporary Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD), a leftist group accused of having close ties to the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), a militant Marxist group recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

Following her death, the İstanbul Bar Association hung a picture of Timtik outside its headquarters, in a protest dismissed by Erdoğan.

In a press statement on Saturday the ÇHD condemned the detentions and stated that the lawyers were being questioned on their legal work.

Turkey issues detention warrants for 60 lawyers following Erdoğan’s call to suspend attorneys accused of terrorist links