September 22, 2017
German lawyers on Friday denounced conditions within the Turkish judiciary and voiced deep concern about the recent arrests of Turkish lawyers in the country.
“The situation of lawyers in Turkey is deteriorating from week to week,” Ulrich Schellenberg, president of the German Bar Association said in a statement.
More than 3,800 judges and public prosecutors were removed from office after the imposition of the state of emergency in July last year. This represents more than a quarter of the total of 14,000 judges and public prosecutors in the country.
A total of 14 lawyers were taken into investigative custody on suspicion of terrorist activities on Thursday by a court in Istanbul.
“Lawyers assume joint liability with their clients. It is a perfidious logic to say that anyone who defends an accused person must be bad himself,” Schellenberg said. There had been cases in Turkey where defendants had not found any defendants “because the lawyers are afraid,” he added.
The statements come amid tense bilateral relations between Turkey and Germany.