RIGHTS > Thousands of Turkish lawyers protest detention of their colleagues

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency

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More than 2,000 lawyers staged a massive protest June 12 inside Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse. DHA photo

More than 2,000 lawyers staged a massive protest June 12 inside Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse. DHA photo

More than 2,000 lawyers staged a massive protest June 12 inside Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse, where nearly 60 lawyers were detained in a police raid after protesting the government over the Gezi Park unrest.

“Everywhere Taksim, everywhere resistance,” “Resign, prosecutor,” “Prosecutor, look here, count how many we are,” were among the slogans the lawyers chanted.

Dozens of lawyers were detained for several hours by police at Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse on June 11 for joining the Taksim Gezi protests, which have been raging across the country for 17 days now.

The chief prosecutor issued a statement June 12 claiming the lawyers had disturbed the “public order,” and only few of them were wearing legal robes.

“An intervention by police became obligatory after a half hour of announcements calling the lawyers to disperse. The protestors physically resisted police forces, which ended with the injury of six police officers and five private security guards,” the statement read.

“Police terror is storming Turkey linked with the Turkish government’s political provocations,” Istanbul Bar Association head Ümit Kocasakal said.

“Illegal use of gas canisters and plastic bullets targeting anyone around disregards our citizens’ safety. We are not bugs to be killed by gassing, we are human,” Kocasakal said.

A Special Forces Unit intervened in a protest being held inside the Çağlayan Courthouse, leading to a number of lawyers falling to the ground.

All the lawyers were subsequently released. Around 100 lawyers had gone to the police station to demand the release of their colleagues.

The Ankara Bar Association also staged a protest marching through the Sıhhiye district of the capital.

“This is an attack on every lawyer in Turkey,” the vice chair of the bar, Sema Aksoy, said.

The Ankara Bar Association asked who could have safety and guarantees on property in a country where lawyers are taken from a courthouse by police. It also said it would follow the issue closely and that it would protect the rights of the detained lawyers, who belong to the Istanbul Bar Association.

“The detainment of the lawyers at the courthouse by force brings the question of what kind of a ‘democratic regime’ we are living in,” said the bar in a statement sent to the Hürriyet Daily News.

The western province of Izmir and eastern province of Tunceli also saw protests by lawyers.


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Notice on comments

Brian Irlanda

6/13/2013 2:55:25 PM

Big mistake of the AKP was to declare for the opposition in Syria rather keeping to his "zero problems with neighbours" policy. Assad is going to win and an old friend becomes an enemy. The EU,UK, USA have made the same mistake. There'll be a future alliance of Russia, Iran and Syria against Turkey and the EU. What Tayyip should concentrate on now is "zero problems with the other half of the Turkish nation". People think he has a plan but actually it was a huge miscalculation. There's no plan.

Ali Kanat

6/13/2013 11:13:54 AM

Aryeh, they have no shame. They dont' even have the capacity for shame. Erdogan has 50% so whatever he does is therefore correct! They will continue to lie, bully and fill their pockets while their sheep will follow blindly believing every word.

Rimon Tree

6/13/2013 2:03:24 AM

@ yaacov You forgot Adolf.......

Yaacov Ma

6/12/2013 10:59:48 PM

Recep Joseph Tayyip Erdoğan Stalin… Mashallah

Blue Dotterel

6/12/2013 10:37:20 PM

Mehmet Ud, that may very well what Erdogan is trying to provoke. If he is, it is a bigger miscalculation then his bet on destroying a secular Syria.

Misses Ataturk

6/12/2013 9:14:57 PM

Good for you guys! Standing up for what is right!!

mara mcglothin

6/12/2013 8:29:39 PM

Time for some of these lawyers to ask some questions about the Lighthouse Affair.

Aryeh Rapaport

6/12/2013 7:14:02 PM

This is very negative. Erdogans true colors are becoming clear. This is another reason for EU not to accept Turkey. Every person should be free to protest and say what they believes without being jailed or beaten up. The world should confront, shame Turkish leadership & policy for intimidating/jailing people upholding their right to free speech. This right is not given to us by a government or person but by god!!

Roger Harding

6/12/2013 7:13:36 PM

I am afraid Turkey is now officially a dictatorship. Tayyip has arrived at the station and has gotten of the democracy train. However, it is possible Tayyip has utterly underestimated Turkish professioanls such as lawyers. Begining of Tayyip's downfall has now started.

mehmet ud

6/12/2013 6:01:41 PM

looks like these provocators are going to end up with an Islamic Revolution. They should look at what happened to the Arab spring? All ended up with Islamic revolution
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