September 2, 2019
The Judicial Year Opening Ceremony took place at the Beştepe Nation’s Cultural Center at the Presidential Complex in the capital Ankara for the third time since 2016.
Forty-three bar associations did not attend the opening ceremony in protest, while President and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Bar Association President Metin Feyzioğlu and Supreme Court President İsmail Rüştü Cirit gave speeches at the ceremony.
The Ankara Bar Association, which protested the ceremony, issued a press release in front of the Ankara Courthouse.
Erdoğan: Some bar associations are “provocative”
“Independent functioning of legislative, executive and judiciary powers does not prevent them from liaising with the president’s mission in the Constitution as head of state,” Erdoğan asserted, saying that Turkey has always been committed to the rule of law.
He accused the bar associations who choose not to attend the ceremony of “being provocative just because of the place where the ceremony is held.”
“Although Turkey has experienced lots of adversity from tutelage to coups, it has always abided by the idea of separation of powers which tops the will of people and an understanding of democracy built on that idea,” Erdogan said.