April 27, 2017
A new low has been witnessed in effusive Turkish judiciary after a video has been started to circulate in social media venues. According to the video, a lawyer, who was appointed by an unknown defendant, was seen as being thrown out by three police officers following the order of judge Hüseyin Öztürk in Bakırköy 10th High Criminal Court in İstanbul.
It has been frequently reported that Turkish courts have often been rejecting, even sometimes arresting lawyers who are hired by defendants who are generally accused of either being members of faith-based Gülen movement or Kurdish political groups. Pro-Kurdish DİHABER news agency has named the lawyer as Suat Eren from the Libertarian Lawyers’ Platform (ÖHP).
Turkish authorities have issued sweeping arrest warrants against more than 1000 lawyers within last nine 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 over 410 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.
What is more, the authorities have also ordered the seizure of all assets of lawyers who faced an arrest although they were not convicted of any crime and there was no indictment filed and no trial hearing held yet. The seizure of assets has deprived family members of their livelihood while lawyers are left languishing behind bars in long pre-trial detentions.