December 14, 2017
“The situation of lawyers in Turkey following the failed coup d’état of July 2016 and that of lawyers representing Kurdish clients, or otherwise associated with the Kurdish cause, have both given rise to grave concerns,” said Sabien Lahaye-Battheu, a reporter appointed by Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) for “The case for drafting a European Convention on the profession of lawyer.”
Laheye-Battheu, who is a member of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) at European Parliament from Belgium, has also stated in her report’s provisional version that “the decree laws introduced under Turkey’s state of emergency reduced the rights of the defence” in the country.
The report’s parts related to the situation of defence and lawyers in Turkey as follow:
“According to the CCBE, by September 13, 2017, 1343 lawyers were subject to criminal prosecution and 524 had been arrested since the coup. These included 18 lawyers who had been representing the university lecturer and teacher dismissed under the emergency decree-laws.
“Further mass arrests of lawyers accused of links with the Gülen movement include those of 19 lawyers in Kahramanmaraş province, 11 lawyers in Denizli province, arrest warrants for 62 members of the İstanbul Bar Association, 22 lawyers in İzmir (including Taner Kılıç, chair of Amnesty International Turkey), 4 lawyers and members of the Human Rights Association (IHD) in Mardin province; 22 lawyers in Antalya and 50 lawyers in İstanbul.
“On May 9, 2017, Mustafa Özben, a lawyer and academic at a university shut down by the Turkish government on account of alleged links to the Gülen movement, was abducted in Ankara, following which his wife filed a complaint with the Turkish Constitutional Court alleging that he was kidnapped by the Turkish intelligence services.
“In July 2017, 3 lawyers were imprisoned for up to 12 years on charges relating to links to the Gülen movement.
“The CCBE has referred to a statement by the Adana Bar Association expressing its members ‘fear’ and ‘concern’ about possible reprisals against lawyers…, the decision made by some not to provide legal assistance to people detained in relation to the failed coup, and the negative treatment they faced from the police and prosecutors if they represented the detainees.