Letter on criminal investigation launched against Ankara Bar Association and Diyarbakir Bar Association
In a letter to the Turkish authorities that was co-signed by Lawyers for Lawyers and nine other signatories, we expressed concern about the criminal investigations that have been launched against Ankara Bar Association and Diyarbakir Bar Association.
The investigation against the Ankara Bar Association was opened after the Ankara Bar Association filed a complaint – on 27 April 2020 – against the head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, Mr. Ali Erbaş. The latter, in a sermon on 24 April 2020, referred to COVID-19 generally and, referencing HIV, suggested that members of the LGBT community spread disease, urging people to “join the fight to protect people from such evil”.
According to our information, the Diyarbakir Chief Prosecutor’s Office has launched a criminal investigation into the Diyarbakir Bar Association on the same grounds, after that Bar Association also spoke out against the remarks made by the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate.
The signatories underline that the criminal investigations represent a threat to the independence of the legal profession in Turkey. Bar Associations should be able to function as independent professional bodies, representing their members, without any interference from the executive or legislative branches of government.
The criminal investigations launched against these Bar Associations have the potential to erode the separation of powers, as well as the respect for the rights of members of the LGBT community, in what constitutionally is a secular and democratic republic.
Furthermore, the signatories note in the letter that these criminal investigations form part of a broader effort to undermine the independence of Bar Associations, and the legal profession more widely, in Turkey.
Therefore, the signatories urged the relevant authorities to firstly discontinue the criminal investigations launched against the Ankara Bar Association and the Diyarbakir Bar Association with immediate effect and take no further measures against these and other Bar Associations that interfere, or could interfere, with their independence. Secondly, the signatories urged the authorities to withdraw all proposals to amend the legal framework concerning lawyers and other legislation or regulations that interfere, or could lead to interference, with the independence of the legal profession (either in respect of individual lawyers or lawyers’ professional representative bodies).
Meer nieuws uit Turkey
Lawyers for Lawyers monitored second hearing in trial of Berrak Çağlar
On 14 June 2022, representatives of Lawyers for Lawyers observed the second hearing in the trial of lawyer Berrak Çağlar who is accused of being a member of an armed terrorist organization, after expressing solidarity with her imprisoned colleague lawyersLees verder
L4L monitored hearing in the trial against the lawyers of the ÖHD
On 25 May 2022, representatives of Lawyers for Lawyers, together with about 10 lawyers from Grenoble and one lawyer from Paris, observed the hearing in the trial against the lawyers of the ÖHD. Background Twelve lawyersembers of the Association ofLees verder
Lawyers for Lawyers nominates Can Atalay for the International Hrant Dink Award
Lawyers for Lawyers is proud to support the nomination of Can Atalay for the International Hrant Dink Award. Annually, this award is presented to individuals, organisations and groups that give inspiration and hope to people for holding on to theirLees verder
Lawyers for Lawyers monitored first hearing in trial of Berrak Çağlar
From 30 March to 2 April 2022, Lawyers for Lawyers visited Turkey for a trial monitoring mission. The aim of the mission was to attend the first hearing in the trial against lawyer Berrak Çağlar. Introduction Berrak Çağlar is aLees verder