March 29, 2019
According to documents reviewed by Nordic Monitor, the Turkish government investigated the spouses and children of 28 lawyers including prominent attorneys who have been jailed or forced to live in exile since the crackdown started in 2015 and intensified a year later. The documents show spouses and children including underage youngsters were investigated by the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK), an executive organ attached to the Finance and Treasury Ministry, which is led by Berat Albayrak, Erdoğan’s son-in-law.
The investigation documents were found in docket No. 2017/134 of the Ankara 22nd High Criminal Court, which is hearing the trials of dozens of jailed lawyers. The Masak report, dated July 13, 2018, reveals how intrusive the Turkish government was in its campaign of intimidation of lawyers who were harassed and threatened with the prosecution of family members on fabricated charges. The report lists 83 people as being targeted, indicating that some of the lawyers have more than one child and that all of them were listed as suspected criminals in an unprecedented prosecution of lawyers and rights defenders.