The Right to Free Association Vanished in Turkey

Under the state of emergency Erdogan Regime has also targeted the right to free association. Since the state of emergency declared, 1412 associations and 139 foundations were shut down and all their assets have been confiscated without compensation.

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While 1600 associations were shut down with 5 different decrees (Nos. 667, 677, 679, 689, 694), 188 of them were reopened with new decrees. Thus, total of 1412 associations have been shut down since 21st July 2016.

Pursuant to state of emergency decrees,

a) all kinds of assets, claims, rights, properties, movable assets and other values of the associations shut down within the scope of emergency rules shall be deemed to be transferred to the Treasury free of charge

b) Immovable properties of these institutions and organizations shall be ex officio registered in the title deed in the name of Treasury being free and clear of all kinds of restrictions and right of encumbrance

c) Any right or claim cannot be demanded from the Treasury on account of any kind of liabilities of such institutions and organizations.*

34** of the 1412 associations that were shut down were lawyer associations  or law societies operating in 20 different provinces of Turkey. The majority of these lawyer associations’ members also are under prosecution with sham terrorism accusation. As of 9th October 2017, 550 lawyers have been arrested (since 15th July 2016) and 1398 lawyers are under prosecution. So far, 39 lawyers were sentenced to long imprisonment. Some of the arrested lawyers were subjected torture and ill-treatment.

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Info map by The Arrested Lawyers Initiative


Erdogan Regime also shut down 139 foundations and confiscated their all assets of without compensation with the Emergency Decree 667 and 689.

Pursuant to state of emergency decrees, “All movable and immovable properties, assets, rights and receivables of the closed charitable foundations are transferred to the General Directorate of Foundations, whilst all assets, rights and receivables of the remaining institutions and/or organizations have been transferred to the Treasury, without any consideration.”*

The Erdogan Regime violates the right to property as well as the right to free association in confiscating all the assets of 1412 associations and 139 foundations that have been shut down with decrees.

Under the state of emergency regime, violation of the right to free assembly was not limited to the dissolution / closure of associations and foundations; what is more, membership to these organizations that were duly and legally established with the permission and approval of the government were later deemed to be an evidence of crime and terrorism in breach of the universal principle of non-retroactivity and the principle that no one can be found guilty of a crime unless it was a crime under the law at the time it was committed. As seen in following instruction; prosecutors instruct police to investigate whether the suspects were member of civil society organisations such as association, union, foundation which were shut down with emergency decrees.



A sample from routine instructions are sent to police by prosecutors within scope of the post-coup investigations


*(the italicized parts cited from

**Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği, Konya Denge Hukukçular Derneği, Manisa Hukukçular Derneği, Samsun Güven Law, Mediation And Arbitration Association, Uşak Hukukçular Derneği, Aksaray Baran Hukukçular Derneği, Aydin Hukukçular Derneği, Ankara Hukuk & Hayat Derneği, Hukuk Adamlari Birliği Derneği (Jurists Union Association), Hukuk Etik Siyaset Araştirmalari Derneği, Antalya Kural Hukukçular Birliği Derneği, Gaziantep Müdafaa Demokrasi & Hukuk Derneği, Adalet Okulu Derneği (Justice Academy Association), Mezopotamya Hukukçular Derneği, Özgürlükçü Hukukçular Derneği ,Kocaeli Cihan Hukukçular Derneği, Balikesir Hukukçular Derneği, İstanbul Nizam Hukukçular Derneği, Elazig Hukuk & Hayat Derneği, Eskisehir Hukuksal Bakiş Derneği, Istanbul Denge Hukuk & Düşünce Derneği, Mersin Ahenk Hukuk Derneği, Mizan Hukuk Derneği, Adana Nizam Hukukçular Derneği, Hatay Denge Hukuk Derneği, Boğaziçi Hukukçular Derneği, Isparta Hukuçular Derneği, Van Burç Hukuk Derneği.

Categories: Reports, Situation in Turkey

12 replies


  1. Report: The Persecution On Turkish Lawyers (10-19 October) – The Arrested Lawyers Initiative
  2. Our message on the occasion of European Lawyers Day – The Arrested Lawyers Initiative
  3. Situation in Turkey, 524 lawyers have been arrested since July of 2016 – The Arrested Lawyers Initiative
  4. The 20 Members of Konya Bar Association Including Former President Kayacan were sentenced range to 2 and 11 years imprisonment – The Arrested Lawyers Initiative
  7. Weekly Report: The Persecution On Turkish Lawyers (23-29 October) – The Arrested Lawyers Initiative
  8. LAWYER SELCUK KOZAGACLI WAS ARRESTED – The Arrested Lawyers Initiative
  9. Report: The Persecution On Turkish Lawyers (14-20 November) – The Arrested Lawyers Initiative
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  12. 21 Lawyers were sentenced in Istanbul – The Arrested Lawyers Initiative
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