CHP leader furious over lawyer raids

CHP leader furious over lawyer raids

CHP leader furious over lawyer raids

Kılıçdaroğlu criticizes the lawyers’ arrests as part of the DHKP/C case. DAILY NEWS photo

Main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has harshly criticized the recent detention of lawyers as part of a probe into the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), blaming the government for the detentions.

“They have already put the judges and prosecutors at the government’s service. But they were not able to influence the lawyers, so now, they’ve launched an operation against the lawyers,” Kılıçdaroğlu said yesterday at his Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) parliamentary group meeting. “They have launched a mass hunt in Turkey via mass investigations. Wherever there are dissident people, they chase and put them behind bars. What kind of democracy is this?”

Kılıçdaroğlu was commenting on the arrests of nine lawyers, including Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) head Selçuk Kozağaçlı, for their alleged links with the DHKP/C.

The detained lawyers had worked on human rights abuse incidents, including torture, ill-treatment cases and unresolved murders cases, Kılıçdaroğlu said. “Advocates of human rights have been detained by a violation of the law.”

Thirty-four people were arrested by courts in İzmir and Istanbul yesterday for their alleged links with the DHKP/C.

A court in İzmir ordered yesterday the arrest of 17 people while six others were released, Anatolia news agency reported.

An Istanbul court also ordered yesterday the arrest of 17 people for alleged links to the DHKP/C. Süleyman Göktay, one of the lawyers for those arrested in Istanbul, said the court had released five people and that one person was released with judiciary control. Sami Menteş, a reporter for daily Yurt, was among the 17 people arrested, said Göktay.

The arrests came after nine lawyers from the ÇHD were arrested on Jan. 21. Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticized the arrests, calling it an “arbitrary and abusive use of anti-terrorism laws in Turkey.”

In further remarks, Kılıçdaroğlu attempted to soothe intra-party arguments that were ignited after CHP Tunceli deputy Hüseyin Aygün wrote on his Twitter account that ethnic cleansing had been committed against Greeks in Anatolia. On Jan. 12 Aygün wrote that he was reading a book which “tells about ethnic cleansing committed against Greeks in the Aegean 100 years ago.” Without naming him, Kılıçdaroğlu criticized Aygün. “It’s unacceptable to argue that ethnic cleansing was committed during our Independence War.”