Turkish government’s crackdown targeting defence rights of those under investigation or trial got a new blow with the detention of 6 lawyers in İzmir province on Friday (27/10).
Detention warrant issued for the eight members of CHD-Progressive Lawyers Association’s Izmir Branch, six lawyers were taken into custody, and two lawyers are also wanted. It was reported that the lawyers have been working on the Soma Case regarding the occupational homicide in Soma mine, where 301 miners had lost their lives in 2015.
Lawyer Gökmen Yeşil, the head of ÇHD’s İstanbul Branch has said that the lawyers are being charged with “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” due to their posts on social media. The names of detained lawyers were given as Nergiz Tuba Aslan, Şule Arslan Hızal, Yemen Cankan, Emel Diril, Dinçer Çalım and Bahattin Özdemir. Also it was reported that detention warrant was issued for lawyers Alihan Pilaf and Erdogan Akdogdu
Lawyer Yeşil has said that the detained lawyers have been closely following the Soma trial regarding the occupational homicide in Soma mine, where 301 miners had lost their lives in 2014. “In the last hearing, the board of judges was replaced and a suspect was released. ÇHD lawyers filed a criminal complaint against the prosecutor, who demanded the release and also demanded recusation of the board of judges two days ago,” he said.
ÇHD was closed by government decree (No. 677 dated November 22, 2016) along with 33 other lawyers associations. The 14 members of CHD-Progressive Lawyers Association were also detained on September 12, 2017, two days before the hearing of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça who have been hunger strike to protest their dismissals from their duties. Lawyers Didem Baydar, Şükriye Erden, Ayşegül Çağatay, Ebru Timtik, Aytaç Ünsal, Zehra Özdemir, Yağmur Ereren, Engin Gökoğlu, Süleyman Gökten, Aycan Çiçek, Naciye Demir, Behiç Aşçı, Barkın Timtik and Özgür Yılmaz have been behind bars since September 21, 2017.
2 LAWYERS WERE ARRESTED IN ISTANBUL
Earlier, lawyers Özlem Gümüştaş and Sezin Uçar from Law Office of the Oppressed were also arrested on October 26, 2017, ahead of the next hearing of Suruç trial, regarding the suicide attack killing 33 people in Suruç, Urfa in 2015, where activists, who gathered to deliver toys and humanitarian aid to Kobanê and were issuing a statement for the press, were targeted.
SITUATION IN TURKEY
14 of detained or arrested lawyers are the presidents or former presidents of provincial bars associations.
All persecuted lawyers are being charged with terror-linked offenses such as to be the member of the armed terrorist organisation or to run an armed terrorist organisation. Under the Turkish Penal Code, these two offences require 7,5 to 22,5 years imprisonment.
So far, 59 Turkish lawyers were sentenced to long imprisonment. Erzincan 2nd High Penal Court sentenced lawyers Cemalettin Ozer and Talip Nayir who are (respectively) former president of Erzincan Bar Association and former board member of association 8 years 9 month and 10 years, Erzurum 2nd High Penal Court sentenced Mehmet Güzel who is former president of Erzurum Bar Association and 4 other lawyer range to 1 and 13 years, Konya High Penal Court sentenced Fevzi Kayacan who is former president of Konya Bar Association and 19 other lawyer range to 1 and 11 years, Eskisehir 2nd High Penal Court sentenced 11 lawyers to range 4 to 12 years. Sivas 2nd High Penal Court and Adana 11th High Penal Court sentenced lawyers to ranging from 3 to 9 years imprisonment with the charge of being the member of the armed terrorist organisation.
In addition to these lawyers, at least 149 public (gov’t) attorneys & legal advisers, 108 law schools academics were dismissed with emergency decrees, most of them were also detained or arrested. As the most recent ring of Erdogan’s persecution chain, ten respected human rights defenders including the chair and director of Amnesty International Turkey Branch were arrested.
The Turkish government has also targeted Turkish lawyers’ right to free association. 34 different lawyers’ societies or associations have been shut down since the declaration of the state of emergency. Following their closing down by a government decree, all their assets have also been confiscated without compensation.
Also, 5218 judges and prosecutors were dismissed, and they were subsequently arrested. There are still 2600 judges and public prosecutors in prison with nearly 680 of them in solitary confinement. (For our all reports go to https://arrestedlawyers.org/category/reports/)