Around 500 lawyers gather in Silivri for trial of their colleagues

Around 500 lawyers gather in Silivri for trial of their colleagues

Around 500 lawyers gather in Silivri for trial of their colleagues

AA Photo

Hundreds of lawyers gathered in Istanbul’s Silivri to watch 22 of their colleagues working for the Progressive Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD) being tried over alleged links with the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C).

All 22 lawyers, who were working for the organization that provides judicial support to human rights victims, are accused of aiding the far-leftist terrorist organization.

Nine of the suspects were jailed pending the trial, which will be the first time all 22 suspects have appeared before a judge.

Over 500 lawyers, including Union of Turkish Bar Associations head Metin Feyizoğlu and Istanbul Bar head Ümit Kocasakal, attended the trial in observer status.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Sezgin Tanrıkulu and six CHP deputies, as well as People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairman Sebahat Tuncel, were also among the participants.

The indictment charges ÇHD chairman Selçuk Kozağaçlı, Istanbul branch head Taylan Tanay and other members of the association arrested during a police raid with “administrating and making propaganda for a terrorist organization.”

Prosecutors are also demanding heavy sentences for lawyers accused of maintaining close links with the DHKP/C. Tanay and Kozağaçlı face up to 53.5 years and 27.5 years in prison respectively.

Prosecutors also requested aggravated life imprisonment for Ebru Timtik, charging her with an “attempt against the establishment or the constitutional order, membership of a terrorist organization, attempted murder, making propaganda for a terrorist organization five times and resisting a commissioned officer performing his task.” Her sister Barkın Timtik faces up to 51 years in prison while Oya Aslan, also an executive of the ÇHD, faces up to 45 years of prison.

Kozağaçlı’s wife, Nazan Betül Vangölü, was also charged and faces up to 25 years in prison. The remaining lawyers were charged with membership in a terrorist organization, facing up to 15 years.

The lawyers were initially accused of “transferring instructions from organization leaders in prison to militants” after the raids targeting the DHKP/C.