Bar row bars lawyers-to-be from licenses
Istanbul Bar Association head Kocasakal is at odds with the government. DHA photoThe Istanbul Bar Association is at odds with the Justice Ministry over an authority recognition dispute, after the ministry sent a notification to the Union of Turkish Bar Associations that the Istanbul Bar’s authority to accept the membership of 109 new lawyers is “not valid in law.”
The basis of the ministry’s notification is the Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court’s ongoing investigation against the board members of the association on charges of trying to influence the judicial process in the alleged coup case known as Balyoz.
Istanbul Bar Association head Ümit Kocasakal is among the nine lawyers that are being tried for their behavior during a Balyoz hearing on April 6, 2012, when they took the seats of the suspects’ lawyers. The Justice Ministry’s notification alleges that decisions taken by this board are invalid because of the ongoing investigation, but the Istanbul Bar on April 19 issued a written statement refuting this claim. “The board of the Istanbul Bar is continuing its mission and the Justice Ministry’s claims have no legal bases,” it said.
The lawyers who completed their law internships in Istanbul are now waiting for their applications to be approved, the Istanbul Bar stated, adding that hundreds of criminal complaints would be filed against the ministry if the applications remain suspended.,