Weekly Report: The Persecution On Turkish Lawyers (14-20 November)


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Adana 11th High Penal Court sentenced lawyer Ismail Kara  who has been under arrest for 15 months to 12 years imprisonment. The court also sentenced his wife LK to 7,5 years imprisonment and decided to arrest her. 

So far, six lawyers were sentenced range to 6 and 12 years imprisonment by #Adana 11th High Penal Court.




Lawyer Fethi Ün, 70, who has represented the Erdogan’s greatest enemy Fethullah Gulen for four years (1990-1994), was sentenced 12 years prison sentence with the charge to be the member of the armed terrorist organization.





Lawyer Ali Aksoy was detained on 21st July 2016; only 5 days after the failed coup attempt.

Izmir 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced lawyer Ali Aksoy to 3 years imprisonment because of his press statement about “the prosecutorial misconducts” against his clients. Lawyer Aksoy has been under arrest since 2016 July.

Emniyetteki "paralel yapı'' operasyonu

Lawyer Ali Aksoy seems during the press statement in August 2014

Lawyer Ali Aksoy made a press statement to disclose the actions which have the characteristics of the obstruction of justice conducted against his clients by Engin Dinç (Chair of Turkish Police Intelligence) Kudret Dikmen (Chief of Police Intelligence in Izmir) and Okan Bato (Deputy Chief Prosecutor of Izmir) in August 2014.

After the 2016’s coup attempt, lawyer Mr. Aksoy was prosecuted and indicted because of above mentioned press statement (in favor of his clients) and was sentenced to 3 years with the charge of targeting public servants.

Lawyer Mr. Aksoy is also on trial with faked up terror charges and up to 37 years prison sentence is being sought for him.

Two lawyers were sentenced to 6 years in Kayseri


Kayseri 4th High Penal Court sentenced lawyers HŞ and HHA 6 years 3 months prison sentence with the charge to be the member of the armed terrorist organization.

One of the victim lawyer said that despite the digital forensic report presents that I have never downloaded the BYLOCK secure i-message application, the court sentenced me 6 years 3 months, I wish hell for them.

The US-based think tank Freedom House, which has listed Turkey in his newly released report among the countries in which Internet freedoms are restricted most, stated that tens of thousands of Turkish citizens have been arbitrarily detained for their alleged use of the encrypted communications app ByLock.

Stating that the past year featured an unprecedented increase in the number of prosecutions and detentions of Turkish citizens for their online activities, Freedom House’s report said that  “Legal and technical experts have disputed the government’s claim that the (ByLock) app was primarily used by members of the Gülen movement, pointing to its wide availability and popularity in 41 countries. It was once available to download at no cost on the app stores of Apple and Google, until it was removed by the developer. Turkish officials claim that the app was designed by a senior member of the Gülen movement. Experts believe that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) hacked a ByLock server located in Lithuania, which listed its hundreds of thousands of users in an unencrypted form.”

“Despite a lack of evidence, and the arbitrary nature of the blanket arrests, numerous users have been deemed guilty by association for simply downloading the app. In the month of October 2016 alone, arrest warrants were issued for 404 individuals for allegedly using ByLock, including members of the police and judiciary,” said the report and added that “The ByLock controversy has also ensnared members of the human rights community. Taner Kılıç, the Turkey chair of Amnesty International, was detained in June 2017, and the only known evidence in his case was the allegation that he had used ByLock, which he has denied.”

Six woman lawyers were arrested on 14 November in Erzurum

Six woman lawyers were arrested on 14 November after 6-day police custody in Erzurum with the charge to be the member of the armed terrorist organization. A lawyer was released with probation.

Seven woman lawyers who were taken into custody on 8th November, were taken to Erzurum Courthouse yesterday. The lawyers referred to Erzurum Peace Criminal Judgeship for arrest after questioned by prosecutor and while a lawyer was released with probation, six lawyers got arrested.

Peace Criminal Judgeships are called special project courts that were introduced by Erdoğan on June 22, 2014 to persecute his critics. Exclusively authorized to carry out all investigatory processes including detention, arrest, property seizure and search warrants, penal judges of peace were handpicked by the government from among loyalists and partisans who pursued a witch-hunt primarily against members of the Gülen movement and the Kurdish political movement, who are treated as enemies by the government. As appeals against decisions by a penal judge of peace can be filed only with another penal judge of peace, this creates a “closed circuit” system that has drawn harsh criticism from PACE and the Venice Commission. The Venice Commission dealt with these courts when Cesar Florin Preda, chair of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), requested an opinion on the duties, competences and functioning of the penal judges of peace on May 25, 2016. The Venice Commission issued its opinion on March13, 2017 and said their jurisdiction and practices give rise to numerous concerns.

On 10th October, former President of Erzurum Bar Association, lawyer Mehmet Guzel who is under arrest since 4th August 2016, was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment with charge of to run armed terrorist organisation; along with him, 4 other lawyers (MSB, SA, ŞYL, HD) also were sentenced range to 1 and 5 years imprisonment in Erzurum.


Lawyer Gürkan İstekli who has been under police custody since 14th November, was subjected torture

As reported by the Libertarian Lawyers Platform, lawyer Gürkan İstekli who has been under police custody in Sanliurfa since 14th November was subjected torture.

Lawyer Mikail Yavuz said after interviewed with him in custody center that He (Gurkan Istekli) was subjected torture and ill-treatment and despite his apparent request the forensic doctor did not report torture symptoms



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, 562 lawyers have been arrested and 1438 lawyers are under prosecution, 67 lawyers were sentenced to long imprisonment.  Some of the arrested lawyers were subjected torture and ill-treatment.


14 of detained or arrested lawyers are the presidents or former presidents of provincial bars associations.

So far,  67 lawyers were sentenced to long imprisonment:

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.

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.

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According to The World Justice Project’s annual report entitled “Rule of Law Index 2016″, Turkey is on 99th rank amongst 113 countries. Turkey is on 105th rank in terms of “fundamental rights” and on 108th rank in terms of “constraints on government powers” amongst 113 countries.


Categories: Torture and Impunity, Unjust / Wrongful Convictions, Weekly Newsletters


4 replies


  1. Turkey: Two lawyers were sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in Adana and Izmir | IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers
  2. Report: The Persecution On Turkish Lawyers (20-27 November) – The Arrested Lawyers Initiative
  4. Report: The Persecution On Turkish Lawyers (1-17 December) – The Arrested Lawyers Initiative
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