Detention of Doğan lawyer ‘intimidation’
ISTANBULThe detention of the Doğan Group’s chief judicial adviser, along with a former chief executive officer of the holding, is an act of intimidation by the political power, the Istanbul Bar Association said in a written statement on Jan. 6.
“This detention is an intimidation,” it said, adding that the government was seeking to create its own narrative during the current period.
“In this context, we should mention not only a lawyer’s detention … but also openly [an attack] on the freedom of the press,” read the statement titled ”Law Should Not Be Part of Political Strategies.”
It noted that detained adviser Erem Turgut Yücel had been turned into a suspect in a case that he had been following as a lawyer.
Yücel and former Doğan Group CEO Yahya Üzdiyen were detained at 6 a.m. on Jan. 5 as police searched their houses and offices.
No bar association representatives were present during the searches, the bar said.
It said a decree law under the ongoing state of emergency had lifted an article stipulating that a prosecutor be present during such searches but retained an article stipulating that a representative of the bar be present.
“Thus, such searches are openly against the law,” the statement read.
It also said the computers of the detained executives were confiscated unlawfully, as the Turkish Criminal Procedure Act says data in computers can be copied by security forces but cannot be confiscated.
Yücel is a figure well-known to the bar association and has a character “that can by no means have link to the FETÖ or any contact with it,” the statement said, referring to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization under the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen, the main suspect in the case into the July 15, 2016, foiled coup in Turkey.
The Doğan Group is the owner of several media companies, including Hürriyet and the Hürriyet Daily News, beside businesses in other sectors.