Police stops ‘marching’ lawyer after 17-day march to Istanbul

Police stops ‘marching’ lawyer after 17-day march to Istanbul

Police stops ‘marching’ lawyer after 17-day march to Istanbul

Bayram Vural, who kicked off his individual protest with the hopes of reaching Istanbul’s Cağlayan Courthouse, has completed his march. DHA photo

Police officers halted a lawyer who has been marching since July 1 to protest government treatment of lawyers during the Gezi unrest just as he reached his final destination, Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse.

Officers would not let Bayram Vural read his statement to the press which was to finalize his 17-day march to Istanbul and instead directed him to a square nearby.

Vural moved to the permitted location and read his statement there, speaking about the 11-hour detention of scores of lawyers who were detained June 11 for staging a protest in support of the Gezi Park movement. The lawyer called on occupational groups, especially lawyers’ bars, to voice their protests strongly against such treatment of their colleagues.

Vural walked over 455 kilometers on his way from Ankara with the hopes of reaching Cağlayan Courthouse. The lawyer said he could not accept the detentions of lawyers and was ultimately disappointed with the response of occupational groups against something that “has never occurred anywhere else in the world.”

He aimed for about 40 kilometers every day, but there were days he raised his performance, Vural told Hürriyet columnist Ayşe Arman.

“It turned out to be tougher than I thought. The asphalt though burned my feet; if I had special shoes I could have even walked longer distances,” Vural said.

Vural said his protest was an individual one, even though his sentiments were shared by a small group of lawyers called “the Monday Movement,” formed by himself and friends in Ankara. As for the lack of press coverage of his journey, Vural told Arman that he did not care much, saying: “I told one of my friends who is in a high position in a news agency, and he didn’t even give me a call. Well, then I just kept doing what I was doing. So what if they don’t make news out of it? I don’t care about anyone; I walk for my own values.”

The lawyer said he made his march to show that each person has value and is capable of doing so much, as well as “to open the way up for the youth.”

“I think that’s what I believe in in this country; the youth,” he said.

Vural also called on lawyers of the country to be more productive and resist such ill-treatment, while stating that he would continue practicing law.

“I will try to give this message to everyone: nobody needs to wait for a savior, each individual is precious, so long as he or she notices it,” Vural said.