Report: The Persecution On Turkish Lawyers (20-27 November)


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Lawyer H.D, the member of Izmir Bar Association who has been sought within the scope of an investigation carried out by Izmir Prosecutorial Office was detained in Marmaris while fleeing to the Greece and subsequently was arrested.

Lawyer RA and IU who are the member of Izmir Bar Association, were taken into custody in Istanbul and Usak and were arrested by the Peace Criminal Judgeship which they were referred to.

Thus far, 46 lawyers have been arrested, and 103 lawyers were taken into custody in the province of Izmir.


On 23 November, Istanbul 34th High Penal Court sentenced lawyer DA to 5 years 10 months. Bolu High Penal Court sentenced lawyer ÖB to 7 years 6 months imprisonment.

Both lawyers were convicted on the charge of being the member of the armed terrorist organization, on the grounds that (allegedly) using or downloading the BYLOCK messaging app.

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.”

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, 565 lawyers have been arrested and 1438 lawyers are under prosecution, 69 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,  69 lawyers were sentenced to long imprisonment:


To see the previous report






Categories: Reports

1 reply


  1. Turkey: Turkish Gov’t Covers Up Killing Of Lawyer, Human Rights Activist Tahir Elçi | IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers
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