March 7, 2017
An advocacy group set up by exiled Turkish lawyers has decried the silence of Turkish Bar Association (TBB) in the face of massive crackdown on lawyers and human rights defenders and condemned its chairman Metin Feyzioğlu for flatly denying credible torture allegations that take place in Turkey’s detention centers and prisons.
In a statement made by the Arrested Lawyers’ Initiative (ALI) to Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF), the group accused TBB of remaining indifferent to the plight of hundreds of jailed lawyers by Turkish government on dubious charges and said “a lack of apathy appears to have taken the TBB leadership as hostage as they have not shown a real and effective engagement to free their members from unlawful detention and imprisonment.”
345 LAWYERS ARE IN PRISONS, FOR NOW
Turkish authorities have issued sweeping arrest warrants against 770 lawyers within last seven months on what is believed to be a part of crackdown on critics and opponents of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government. So far 345 lawyers including prominent criminal law attorneys and heads of provincial Bar Associations were formally arrested while many were forced to self-exile to avoid torture and ill treatment in jails. The government also purged 108 academics including famous law professors from law schools of public universities and fired 108 government lawyers en masse.