February 16, 2017
Thirteen of 19 previously detained lawyers were referred to court on Wednesday, with a Bursa prosecutor demanding their arrest over the use of a smart phone application named ByLock, which is considered by the Turkish government to be “proof” of a connection to Gülen movement.
According to data compiled by ‘Arrested Lawyers Initiative’, 301 lawyers are currently in jail and arrest warrants have been issued by courts about more than 100 lawyers in Turkey. Moreover, 725 lawyers are currently under legal investigation. The list of arrested lawyers includes current or former presidents of bar associations. Head of 10 local or regional bar associations are currently in jail. Besides of arbitrary mass arrests and detentions lawyers are under the threat of systematic torture and ill-treatment in Turkey.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement, inspired by US-based Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen. The movement denies the accusations.