No disciplinary penalty to influencer lawyer: Istanbul bar
Istanbul Bar has found Fatma Begüm Kaçmaz, a female lawyer accused of breaking the advertising law in her profession by broadcasting videos on her social media account gaining fame by it, not guilty and said there is no need for a disciplinary penalty.
Kaçmaz opened a social media account named “Adliyede bir gün,” (A day at courthouse), in 2019 and aired videos showing her at work.
The bar started an inquiry after storms of complaints from her colleagues, but Kaçmaz, who has around 124,000 followers on Instagram, defended herself saying that she had no intention of “gaining customers by uploading videos.”
She also added that a social media account is a personal matter as she did not write anything about her profession on her profile.
After three years, the bar decided not to give a disciplinary punishment to her, but the decision caused new controversy.
“Advocacy is an independent business, but also a public service,” said Erkan Arıtaş, a lawyer, told daily Milliyet on June 30 and added: “The profession bans a lawyer from gaining fame and arranging a living by that fame.”
Selami Kuran, a professor from Marmara University, noted that attorneyship is the third element of law, after prosecutors and judges.
“Like the first and the second, the third element of law should not take position openly to public about his or her profession and lawsuits.”
According to Kuran, all videos she shared, showing her clothing and vehicles, are “advertisements.”
Even videos showing her entering and leaving her office is part of an “ad campaign.”
Ali Kemal Yıldız, another law professor, said he thinks the opposite. “If information an advocate shares on social media is not wrong and manipulative, and all about his or her profession, then it should not be considered an ad,” he added.