Lawyer protests lengthy detentions in front of Constitutional Court

Lawyer protests lengthy detentions in front of Constitutional Court

Lawyer protests lengthy detentions in front of Constitutional Court

Lawyer Şule Nazlıoğlu Erol (C) reads a press statement in front of the Constitutional Court in Ankara, May 5. AA Photo

A defense lawyer in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case, Şule Nazlıoğlu Erol, has begun a demonstration in front of the Constitutional Court.

Her demonstration is being carried out in order to protest lengthy detentions and delay in delivery of rulings by the Constitutional Court concerning individual appeals on lengthy detentions.

She was set to begin “standing sentinel” with her gown on and will continue until “reaching her goal,” Erol told reporters on May 5, noting that she decided to stage such a protest after Col. Murat Özenalp, a Balyoz coup plot trial convict, passed away due to a cerebral hemorrhage.

“Should we hold a funeral every day to end lengthy detentions?” the lawyer asked, noting she would continue her protest day and night until “those inside are released.”

The Shift is Ours Platform, the Retired Commissioned Officers Association, Ankara Bar Association, Union of Turkish Bar Associations and lawmakers from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) lent support to Erol’s demonstration.

Erol appealed to the Constitutional Court on behalf of 17 clients, including Murat Özenalp on Nov. 7, 2013 yet the court has not rendered a verdict for six months.

Meanwhile, Özenalp, 49, died May 1, five days after he was taken to the hospital after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage in prison. He had been sent to the Gülhane Military Academy of Medicine (GATA) after falling on the floor at the Mamak Military Prison on April 26, but doctors were unable to operate on him as the hemorrhage was continuing. Özenalp fainted and fell on the floor while he was playing with his daughter Duru, 8, during an open visit.

Özenalp was sentenced to a 16-year imprisonment on charges of attempting to overthrow the government and was among the 237 suspects in the case whose convictions were approved by the Supreme Court of Appeals in October 2013.