Tag Archives: Day of the Endangered Lawyer

Turkey: Int’l law associations urge UN to pressure on Turkish gov’t over persecution of legal professionals

September 18, 2018

Three international law associations have urged United Nations (UN), enter into urgent dialogue with the Turkish government with a view to ending the persecution and prosecution of legal professionals in the country.

The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC), the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and the Law Society of England and Wales have written a 34-page report in relation to breaches of the rights and protections of the legal profession in Turkey and submitted Diego García-Sayán, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers on Tuesday in Geneva.

The report entitled “International Law Breaches Concerning the Independence of Legal Profession in Turkey” which was submitted to the UN related to human rights violations which have occurred and are occurring since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, and examines the position post the ending of the State of Emergency in Turkey.

“Primarily, new laws place in a statutory framework the pre-existing threats to the independence of the legal profession, including arbitrary arrest and detention, dismissals, and breaches of the right to a fair trial and due process,” said the international law associations in their joint letter in which they presented the report to UN’s García-Sayán.


International Law Breaches Concerning the Independence of Legal Profession in Turkey




Turkey: Detained CHD lawyers released then re-arrested

September 15, 2018

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/361472/tahliye-edilen-chdli-ve-hhbli-avukatlar-icin-gozalti-karari (TURKCE)

https://ilerihaber.org/icerik/savci-itiraz-etti-sabah-tahliye-edilen-avukatlar-icin-yakalama-karari-89737.html (TURKCE)

http://gazetekarinca.com/2018/09/bu-sabah-serbest-birakilmislardi-kozagacli-dahil-12-avukat-hakkinda-yakalama-karari/ (TURKCE)

http://grihat.com/hukuk-ayaklar-altinda-tahliye-edilen-avukatlar-hakkinda-yeniden-gozalti-karari/ (TURKCE)

http://t24.com.tr/haber/cagdas-hukukcular-dernegi-davasinda-tum-avukatlar-tahliye-edildi,700258?utm_medium=social&utm_content=sharebutton (TURKCE)

http://bianet.org/bianet/siyaset/200861-tahliye-edilen-avukat-selcuk-kozagacli-darp-edilerek-emniyete-goturuldu (TURKCE)

Three of the 17 CHD lawyers released by an Istanbul court on September 14th (in pre-trial detention for one year) were arrested again today, and there is a search warrant for nine of them. The prosecutor had objected to the release decision and the same court which decided to release them accepted the prosecutor’s request.

(Facebook, 15/09/18)

Message from Selçuk Kozağaçlı to our international associations; ELDH-AED and IADL
Dear Friends,

I was just on the phone with Selçuk. He is at the courthouse now. He asked me to send a message from him and it is my honor to pass it to you. I believe this message is extremely important not only because explains this dark atmosphere and fascism in Turkey but also the ongoing tradition of revolutionary struggle in Turkey and the history of CHD’s practice of lawyering.

Selçuk is at the courthouse and he wants you to know that he did not go there to give himself up to the court. He persistently stressed that this scandal that is now being staged in Turkey has nothing to do with law and the code. Under this dark period of fascism, on the face of this monstrosity and scandal, nobody in her right mind could and should be expected to recognize the legitimacy of the courts nor their null verdicts and give herself up to the courts. The discussions about law and respecting the law do not make sense where the courts act as the puppets of political power. To put it most clearly, those court decisions are nothing but garbage.

Yes, Selçuk is at the courthouse but the only reason he went there is that he has a case to bring and a word to say. Selçuk is at the courthouse because he is going to tell those rogues and cowards in court dresses how helpless they are. He is at the court to speak aloud how impertinent, fearful and shameful they are. He underlined that he welcomes anybody who disobeys such scandalous court decisions from now on. Therefore, nobody should think that Selçuk has been abiding by a court decision! On the contrary, as the chair of our association, Selçuk is at the courthouse to bring the court panel into account, to speak the words of our association and to declare that no member of the oppressed would submit in the face of oppression.

He is sending, with his usual commitment and fervor, his thanks and love to us all for our support and solidarity. He salutes and embraces us all with the belief that we will win.

(Facebook, 16/09/18)








Turkey: Release 21 Arbitrarily Imprisoned Members of the Istanbul Bar Association | Letter

September 12, 2018

We are writing on behalf of Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), a committee of Canadian lawyers who promote human rights and the rule of law internationally. LRWC also provides support to lawyers and other human rights defenders in danger because of their advocacy.

We have written to you in the past with respect to various Turkish lawyers who have either been detained, arrested, charged, and/or imprisoned in violation of international human rights law. Some of the lawyers with respect to whom we have written to you include Ramazan Demir, Erin Keskin, Mustafa Aydin, and others.

Many of these lawyers were found guilty of “membership in an armed terrorist organization” or “propaganda of terrorism”, charges which are ill-defined and for which the evidence against these lawyers is insufficient to justify conviction of any criminal offence. It appears that in some cases, the only evidence on which the conviction was based was that the lawyer was simply been performing his or her job by defending a politically sensitive defendant, or was found guilty “by association” because friends, colleagues or relatives had been under suspicion by the Turkish authorities.


These convictions and sentences are part of an on-going campaign of widespread and systematic persecution of lawyers in Turkey. The goal of such persecution appears to prevent voices of dissent and opposition from being heard and critics from having legal representation. As of 20 August 2018, we understand that Turkey has prosecuted 1,544 lawyers on overly broad charges based on questionable accusations that preclude the right to a defence; 582 lawyers remain under arrest; and 162 lawyers have been sentenced to jail terms ranging from three to 12 years. [1] Such charges include: spreading propaganda for an armed terrorist organisation (Law on Fight against Terrorism, Article 7(2)); denigrating the Republic of Turkey, institutions and organs of the State (Criminal Code (CC), Article 301); insulting the President (CC, Article 299); membership in an armed terrorist organization (CC Article 314(2)); membership in an armed organization with the purpose of committing the offences listed parts four and five of this chapter (CC, Article314 (2)).




Turkey: 21 Lawyers were sentenced in Istanbul

August 20, 2018

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 16.01.42

Turkish government’s crackdown against lawyers continues relentlessly. Profession of lawyer which was one of the very first victims of post-coup attempt purge has been suffering from relentless attack by executive-controlled Turkish judiciary.

So far, in Turkey, 162 lawyers have been sentenced of terrorism related accusations,  and mainly of being the member of an armed terrorist organization. Twenty one of those who have been sentenced are member of the Istanbul Bar Association. Istanbul Public Prosecutorial Office has been prosecuting 503 lawyers, of those 147 have been arrested and so far at-least twenty one members of Istanbul Bar Association have been convicted:

If the given sentences are upheld by the Court of Appeal, lawyers will serve 3/4 of the given term and will be disbarred.

There has been a relentless campaign of arrests which has targeted fellow lawyers across the country. In 77 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, lawyers have been detained and arrested on trumped-up charges as part of criminal investigations orchestrated by the political authorities and conducted by provincial public prosecutors. As of today, 582 lawyers have been arrested and 1544 lawyers are under prosecution, 162 lawyers were sentenced to long imprisonment.  Some of the arrested lawyers were subjected torture and ill-treatment.

21 Lawyers were sentenced in Istanbul




Turkey/UK: Court accepts indictment against Hanifi Barış

July 27, 2018

Hanifi Barış

On 23 July 2018, İstanbul’s 29th High Criminal Court accepted the indictment against detained lawyer and academic Hanifi Barış and ordered his continued detention. He was arrested for posts he made on social media on 4 July 2018 and is charged with creating “terrorist propaganda”. He has been kept in solitary confinement for approximately 10 days. His first hearing is scheduled for 18 September 2018.

Hanifi Barış is a lawyer and academic, who has also worked on human rights. He is a member of Academics for Peace, a group which has condemned state violence against Kurdish groups and the Turkish State’s ongoing violation of its own laws and international treaties resulting in numerous human rights violations. He also signed the 2016 peace petition “We will not be a party to this crime!”. The human rights defender drew public attention for representing a famous conscientious objector who was sentenced to prison, and defended the client’s right to represent himself in Kurdish, which was refused by the court.

On 23 July 2018, İstanbul’s 29th High Criminal Court accepted the indictment against Hanifi Barış and confirmed his detention. The Court based its decision on an assessment of digital materials supposedly confiscated during an alleged search of his residence and belongings, however no such search ever took place.

In mid-July, Hanifi Barış submitted a petition requesting his transfer to another dormitory. He was informed that he would be kept in another cell until a final decision on his transfer was made. Since then, he has been kept in solitary confinement and has only been permitted to go to the open air facilities of the prison for one hour each day. Before being moved to his new cell, he was permitted 12 hours of outdoor activity a day.









https://www.change.org/p/turkish-government-we-demand-the-immediate-release-of-university-of-aberdeen-lawyer-dr-hanifi-bari%C5%9F (PETITION – PLEASE SIGN!)


University of Aberdeen and CISRUL Graduate Hanifi Baris Arrested in Turkey





Turkey: Turkish lawyer put in pretrial detention on terror charges

August 6, 2018

Can Tombul, a Turkish lawyer and member of the Law Bureau of the Oppressed (EHB), has been put in pretrial detention on charges of “membership in a terrorist organisation.”

According to a statement released by the EHB, Tombul was detained in Kadıköy, İstanbul, and taken to the İstanbul Courthouse after four days of detention on August 3, 2018.

According to a statement issued by the EHB, “Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt referred Tombul to the court without even feeling the need to depose him. He was arrested in August over concerns of him posing a flight risk on charges of membership in an illegal organisation. … Two funerals he attended in 2013 and 2015 and a witness statement that wasn’t disclosed to his lawyers were cited as evidence.

“Tombul was detained as part of an investigation run by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in January 2018, kept for seven days and released after his deposition at a prosecutor’s office.”

On October 25, 2017, lawyers Özlem Gümüştaş and Sezin Uçar from the EHB were arrested  ahead of the Suruç trial.

The Turkish government has prosecuted 1,542 lawyers, arrested 581 lawyers and sentenced 140 lawyers to long prison terms since a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to the Arrested Lawyers Initiative.









Turkey: Weird case of Amnesty’s Kılıç: Turkish prosecutor could not find a crime, court could not release

June 30, 2018

Taner Kılıç (49) is a Turkish human rights advocate. He is one of the founders of Amnesty International’s (AI) Turkey Branch. He has been running the duty of being the Chairman of Board of Executives since 2014. Kılıç, who is father of three children, is one of Turkey’s most knowledgeable human rights advocates on the refugee law and one of the most respected human rights activists. He has tried to raise awareness and public awareness on refugee issue through articles he wrote for numerous newspapers and conferences he has given.

Together with Taner Kılıç, the honorary chairman of Amnesty International Turkey Branch who was detained on Jun. 6, 2017 over alleged links to the Gülen movement, İdil Eser, Amnesty’s Director for Turkey, Özlem Dalkıran and Nalan Erkem, the members of the Yurttaşlık Derneği (Citizenship Association), İlknur Üstün from Women Coalition, Veli Acu and Günal Kurşun from the Human Rights Agenda Association, foreign instructors Peter Steudtner from Germany and Ali Gharavi from Sweden, and Nejat Taştan, the General Coordinator of the Association of Equal Rights Watch and Şeyhmuz Özbekli, a representative of the Rights Initiative have been tried with a demand of sentence for 15 years of imprisonment for allegedly “helping an armed terrorist organization” and “becoming a member of an armed terrorist organisation.”

These human rights activists, who have been tried in a file known as Büyükada Case, have been accused by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and by the pro-government media of plotting a coup against the government. President Erdoğan described the Büyükada meeting of the human rights activists as a coup meeting during responding the questions directed by journalists on the issue following the G20 summit in Hamburg on July 8, 2017. Erdoğan said that “Why did they gather in Büyükada. They came together for a meeting which was almost like (controversial coup attempt on) July 15 (2016). They were taken into custody by basing on intelligence. Therefore, a judicial process may begin. The call, that they made, have also been made right now. You are also supporting this call by asking this question.”

It is already unreasonable to accuse a meeting as coup d’état meeting in Büyükada, where is open to the public, but Taner Kılıç’s situation is much more tragic. Because, Kılıç has been accused of a meeting that he could not attend. Kılıç was detained on June 6, 2017 and arrested afterwards. However, Büyükada meeting took place one month later on July 5, 2017.






http://www.haberdar.com/gundem/tutuklu-af-orgutu-temsilcisi-kilic-in-yegeni-delil-olarak-dayimin-dosyasina-babamla-cektirdigim-selfie-resmimizi-koymuslar-suc-bunun-neresinde-h93650.html (TURKCE)

https://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/monde/europe/turquie-le-journaliste-mehmet-altan-libere_2021016.html (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taner_Kili%C3%A7 (FRANCAIS)

https://periodistas-es.com/taner-kilic-jueces-turcos-mantienen-en-prision-al-presidente-de-amnistia-internacional-105964 (ESPANOL)

https://www.pressenza.com/it/2018/06/turchia-rilasciato-mehmet-altan-amnesty-international-ora-tutti-gli-altri/ (ITALIANO)