National bar head blasts Erdoğan’s call to remove ‘Turkish’ from union’s name
Speaking to reporters in Ankara on Feb. 6, Feyzioğlu said they listened to Erdoğan’s remarks “in amazement,” stressing that the association has “always looked after national interests.”
“Apparently Erdoğan has been misinformed. We have always sided with the Turkish people, as is acknowledged by our people. The Union of Bar Associations is the most democratically-elected organization in the country,” he added.
“Turkey’s Union of Bar Associations has a special place in the hearts of the Turkish people and no one can remove it from those hearts,” Feyzioğlu said.
In his speech at a parliamentary group meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Feb. 6, President Erdoğan had said on Feb. 6 that the word “Turkish” should be removed from the Union of Turkish Bar Associations as well as from the Turkish Medical Association (TTB).
His statement came after the TTB had published a statement with the headline “War is a matter of public health.” Eight top members of the TTB were detained for denouncing Ankara’s ongoing military operation in Afrin against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and then released on Feb. 5.
“Neither of these associations have anything to do with our struggle to protect our nation. On the contrary, they side with terrorists,” Erdoğan said on Feb .6.
Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” on Jan. 20 to support Syrian rebels with ground troops and air strikes against the YPG in Afrin.