Istanbul Bar Association now belongs to everyone: New head Durakoğlu
ISTANBULThe newly elected head of the Istanbul Bar Association, Mehmet Durakoğlu, has said the bar now “belongs to everyone.”
Addressing the current situation of the judiciary in Turkey, he said he had “never experienced a worse situation than the current one.”
“The bar should take responsibility, it carries a significance that is more important than the institution itself. Our loyalty to [the founder of the Republic of Turkey] Atatürk will not change and we will maintain the same approach,” he vowed.
“The judiciary is not impartial in Turkey. We have not yet been able to form a lawful country. The country has not yet been able to digest the rule of law,” Durakoğlu said.
He also commented on the failed July 15 military coup attempt, saying he had a “strong stance” against the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, said to be behind the coup bid.
“We are very clear on the Gülen movement. We demand all Gülen followers who partook in the coup attempt to surrender. We said the law must deal with them … We are saying they should be trailed fairly,” he said.
Durakoğlu, a candidate from the “Principled Contemporary Lawyers Group” (Önce İlke Çağdaş Avukatlar Grubu), was elected as the new head of the Istanbul Bar Association late on Oct. 23 after receiving more than 50 percent of the votes, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Durakoğlu received 54.42 percent of the vote, sweeping to victory against four other candidates.