Istanbul bar head calls for meeting over court case
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Head of the Istanbul Bar Association, Ümit Kocasakal. AA photoThe head of the Istanbul Bar Association has called bar members for an extraordinary meeting over recent events, including a court case filed against him and nine other lawyers for allegedly attempting to influence the judicial process in the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) case.
An official statement from the bar has denied the claims, defining the case as a “simple attempt at making threats and intimidation” and far “removed from the practice of law.”
The Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court, which is hearing the Balyoz case, filed a lawsuit at the Silivri Prosecutor’s Office regarding the 10 lawyers, including bar head Ümit Kocasakal, for making an unpermitted statement at the courthouse during a case hearing on April 6, 2012, by taking the seats of the suspects’ lawyers.
“Such claims and assessments do not reflect the truth, and are more likely to be wishes,” the statement said. “We will continue guarding the Republic’s values, the honor of our occupation, the superiority of law and democracy.”
The bar further accused the government of targeting lawyers.
“Lawyers who fight unfairness, who will not stay quiet in the face of injustice are now the new targets of those in political power. The unlawful court case against the Istanbul bar head, as well as claims of losing eligibility to run the bar, are all parts of such a campaign,” the statement said, adding that the extraordinary meeting would focus on “the actions that are to be taken against such issues.”