December, 1 | ANKARA | 10 LAWYERS WERE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AND THREE LAWYERS WERE ARRESTED
Ten lawyers, five of whom have allegedly downloaded the i-message app named Bylock were taken into custody in Ankara. After 7-day police custody, three (lawyers SD, FÇ, MC) of ten lawyers were arrested and others were released with probation rule. Since 15 July 2016, 136 lawyers in Ankara were taken into custody and 49 of whom were arrested.
December, 6 | BALIKESIR | A LAWYER WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY
A lawyer who allegedly downloaded the i-message app named Bylock, was taken into custody in the province of Balikesir. Since 15 July 2016, 18 lawyers in Balikesir have been under criminal prosecution with 7 of whom arrested.
BYLOCK APP | THE MOST COMMON PRETEXT OF THE ONGOING PURGE
I-message app named Bylock has become the most common pretext for detentions and (terrorism related) convictions since the failed coup attempt. Suleyman Soylu, Turkish Minister of Internal Affairs said on 12 December that “23,171 of 102,596 people who have been identified as using the ByLock mobile phone application have thus far been investigated.”
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. “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.” said the report.
The Freedom House is not the only international entity which criticises Erdogan Regime’s purge over the Bylock app. Fox IT which is Netherland based prominent forensic IT company, debunks (MIT) Turkish National Intelligence Agency’s report on BYLOCK app. “The investigation performed by Fox-IT contradicts the key findings of the MİT. Fox-IT also discovered inconsistencies in the MİT report that indicated manipulation of results and/or screenshots by MİT. What is more, Fox-IT found that the MİT investigation is fundamentally flawed due to the contradictory and baseless findings, lack of objectivity and lack of transparency. Fox-IT has read and written many digital investigation reports over the last 15 years. Based on this experience, Fox-IT finds the quality of the MIT report very low, especially when weighed against the consequences of the conclusions.” was said in the statement by Fox-IT after its forensic survey on the Turkish INTEL’s report on BYLOCK app.
December, 7 | SIVAS | LAWYER ERSIN COSMAN WAS SENTENCED TO 6 YEARS AND THREE MONTHS IMPRISONMENT
Lawyer Ersin Cosman who is the member of Sivas Bar Association was sentenced to six years three months imprisonment with the charge of the member of an armed terrorist organisation by the 2nd circuit of Sivas High Penal Court.
Thus, number of the member of Sivas Bar Association who was sentenced to heavy penalties for sham terrorism charges raised to ten.
Previously, (25 September), nine members of Sivas Bar Association were sentenced to ranging from 3 to 9 years by the 2nd circuit of Sivas High Penal Court.
December, 11 | IZMIR | LAWYER MELIH DIKAYAK WAS SENTENCED TO 7,5 YEARS IMPRISONMENT
Lawyer Melih Dikayak who is the member of Izmir Bar Association was sentenced to seven and half years imprisonment with the charge of the member of an armed terrorist organisation by the 2nd circuit of Izmir High Penal Court because of (allegedly) downloading i-message app named Bylock.
Since 15 July 2016, 102 lawyers in Izmir have been under criminal prosecution with 42 of whom arrested. So far, 3 members (Feti Ün, Ali Aksoy, Melih Dikayak) of Izmir Bar Association were sentenced ranging 3 and 12 years.
December, 14 | ISTANBUL | 2 LAWYERS WERE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY
Lawyer Hakim Peker who was released on October 2017 after 8-month pre-trial detention and lawyer Gurkan Istekli who was released 29th November after 14-day police custody, were again taken into custody on November 14, 2017.
December, 14 | MUĞLA | CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION WAS LAUNCHED AGAINST LAWYER GUNFER KARADENIZ WHO REPRESENTS THE SUSPECTS WHO WERE SUBJECTED TORTURE IN MUGLA
Lawyer Gunfer Karadeniz who represents the torture victims has herself subjected judicial harassment by criminal investigation.
On 2 October 2017, seven Kurdish people were taken into custody by naked search and display and were arrested after 10-day custody with terrorism charges.
Lawyer Gunfer Karadeniz who filed a criminal complaint for “torture, ill-treatment and other human rights violation” that the suspects were subjected, has herself become target of a criminal investigation launched by Mugla Chief Prosecutorial Office.
SITUATION IN TURKEY
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, 568 lawyers have been arrested and 1452 lawyers are under prosecution, 71 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.
- Konya 6th High Penal Court sentenced Fevzi Kayacan who is former president of Konya Bar Association and 19 other lawyer range to 1 and 11 years,
- 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 four other lawyer range to 1 and 13 years,
- Eskisehir 2nd High Penal Court sentenced 11 lawyers to range 4 to 12 years,
- Sivas 2nd High Penal Court sentenced nine lawyers to ranging from 3 to 9 years imprisonment,
- Adana 11th High Penal Court sentenced five lawyers to ranging from 3 to 9 years imprisonment,
- In addition to those; Kocaeli, Bolu, Istanbul, Niğde, Kırşehir, Kayseri, İzmir High Penal Courts sentenced fellow Turkish lawyers to long imprisonments.
As of 12 December 2016, 55,665 people have been jailed and 234,419 passports have been revoked within the scope of investigations that were launched after the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.