Lawyer’s Day a reminder of jailed lawyers, Bar says
Lawyers from Istanbul bar criticize the pressure on lawyers and bars in Turkey at a press conference in Istanbul. AA photoThe Istanbul bar and Ankara bar have criticized the pressure on lawyers and bars in Turkey, in their statements released to mark Lawyer’s Day on April 5.
The cases have been opened against the lawyers and bars “completely for political reasons,” Istanbul bar head Ümit Kocasakal said, at an Istanbul press conference on April 5.
Kocasakal is among the 10 lawyers facing criminal charges for trying to influence the judicial process in the alleged coup case known as Balyoz (Sledgehammer). The Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court, which is hearing the Balyoz case, filed a lawsuit in January regarding the 10 lawyers, including Kocasakal, for making an unpermitted statement at the courthouse during the Balyoz trial on April 6, 2012, by taking the seats of the suspects’ lawyers.
Stance against violation
Kocasakal vowed to take a strong stand against all violations of the rights of lawyers and law, saying that no power could seize the lawyers, defense or bars. A bar source told Hürriyet Daily News that 33 lawyers are currently awaiting trial under arrest, while the Contemporary Lawyers Association (ÇHD) said in a statement that this number was 35. The bar sources said that 60 lawyers are awaiting trial in Turkey. Nine lawyers were arrested in January for their alleged links to the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C).
Kayseri bar head Fevzi Konaç, on the other hand, told the Daily News that the removal of the headscarf ban was a positive development for lawyers but complained about some changes in laws limiting the working areas of those wearing headscarves. He said they did not have any problem in Kayseri courthouses concerning the entrance of lawyers wearing headscarves.