Controversial former prosecutor protested at Ankara Bar Association elections
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Former State Security Court (DGM) prosecutor Nuh Mete Yüksel. Hürriyet PhotoFormer State Security Court (DGM) prosecutor Nuh Mete Yüksel, who has a controversial record as a prosecutor, has faced strong protests as he bid to vote at the Bar Association election in Ankara.
A group of attorneys protested the former DGM prosecutor, who is currently a lawyer registered under the Ankara Bar Association, at the Ankara University building, where the voting took place on Oct. 19. After being unable to vote due to the protests, Yüksel left the building and returned with police, after which he was able to cast his vote.
Yüksel had a controversial record as a DGM prosecutor, during which he had brought the case against the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. Yüksel was sacked from his office after a sex scandal in which he had been involved was exposed to the public. Videotapes showing Yüksel with an unidentified woman had been found.
DGMs were introduced into the Turkish legal system in 1973, after the March 12, 1971 coup, otherwise known as the “coup by memorandum.” Being established to look into “crimes related with the state’s domestic and foreign security,” the DGMs were abolished with a constitutional change in 2004.
The group of attorneys chanted “You are not a lawyer, but a torturer,” “We do not want a murderous lawyer” and “Police get out!” in protest of Yüksel. Yüksel had applied to the Ankara Bar Association this past June to be registered as an attorney and was accepted unanimously.
As a result of the elections at the Ankara Bar Association, Hakan Canduran from the “Democratic Left Attorneys” group was elected with 3,552 votes.
Canduran’s closest opponent Fatih Deniz Alaeddinoğlu from the “DSA Ground Movement” received 3,178 votes, making the race tight between the two candidates. Some five more candidates raced for the presidency of the Bar.
Meanwhile, Ümit Kocasakal from the “First Principle Contemporary Attorneys’ Group” was elected as head of the Istanbul Bar Association for a third term by taking 14,435 votes that account for 65.84 percent of the total votes.
Kocasakal won the race by outscoring his closest opponent Abdullah Arar from the “Platform of the Supremacy of Law” with 11,580 votes, beating the other three candidates with great differences.
Kocasakal said his election to the presidency of the Istanbul Bar Association was a celebration of democracy and that the Istanbul Bar was more than just a normal bar association.
“The Istanbul Bar Association is the assurance of everyone, regardless of your ethnicity, sect, belief or political view. The Istanbul Bar Association has proven this in this period of time. It has fought for rights everywhere. It has become the defender of everyone’s rights,” said Kocasakal.