Main opposition CHP slams AKP’s bill on bar associations
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on June 30 slammed a recent submitted bill by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on changing the structure of bar associations by the formation of alternative associations.
“Why are you dividing the bar associations. A city will not have two governors and a country will not have two finance ministers. You are establishing bar associations according to persons and politics. This is a step taken towards splitting the country,” Kılıçdaroğlu said during a speech at his party’s parliamentary group in capital Ankara.
The said bill has been submitted to parliament by the AKP on June 30.
They are separating bar associations, Kılıçdaroğlu said, because of their “opposition to the ruling party” and their “ethnic identities.”
“This separation of bar associations is treason,” he said.
“The bar heads started a march. In Ankara, there was a barricade of police officers where the bar heads were. The police are not to blame here. They instruct the police and they follow them [orders],” he said.
The CHP leader was referring to the march presidents of bar associations and attorneys started to demonstrate against the amendment.
Some 58 bar associations, which were marching from their provinces against the planned legislative amendment, reached Ankara on June 22. The bar associations launched a sit-in after the police blocked them from entering Ankara over a ban by the governorate of the capital.
“The state should not do this. [Ankara Mayor] Mr. Mansur [Yavaş] sent tents [to the area] but they did not allow it. They did not give water until it was discussed. They did not give chairs or food. Are these [people] enemies? If you govern the state with feelings of vengeance, this situation emerges,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also called on Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli and asked how he will defend the bar associations in the event that they get separated based on “faith” and “ethnicity,” indicating that the law could pave the way for groups from the same faith or ethnicity to form their own bars.
Last week, the MHP leader criticized the bar associations’ march, aimed at protesting the bill which had not been submitted yet, dubbing it as a “chaos march.” Bahçeli had said that the way to defend one’s rights do not include marching, but rather showing “democratic virtue with rightminded dialogues.”
“Bar associations are not foundations. Lawyers have separate foundations. If there will be a matter of perpetuity in this country, it will be generated from these steps,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.