The Arrested Lawyers initiative published a report as to the relentless crackdown against Turkish lawyers and the right to defence in Turkey. To read and download to report click here
According to the report, as of 25 January 2018;
- 1506 lawyers have been prosecuted, 572 lawyers have been arrested 80 of whom have been sentenced to long imprisonment,
80 lawyers have been sentenced to long imprisonment;
- Konya 6th High Penal Court sentenced Fevzi Kayacan who is former president of Konya Bar Association and 19 other lawyers to imprisonment for up to 14 years.
- Erzincan 2nd High Penal Court sentenced lawyers Cemalettin Ozer, former president of Erzincan Bar Association, and Talip Nayir, a former board member of the same organisation, to 8 years 9 month and 10 years in prison respectively.
Erzurum 2nd High Penal Court have given Mehmet Güzel, former president of Erzurum Bar Association, and four other lawyers prison term varying from 1 to 13 years,
- Eskisehir 2nd High Penal Court have sentenced 11 lawyers between 4 and 12 years,
- Sivas 2nd High Penal Court have sentenced nine lawyers between 3 and 9 years,
- Adana 11th High Penal Court have sentenced eight lawyers between 3 and 9 years.
Different courts in Istanbul, Bolu, Antalya, Kocaeli, Nigde, Kirsehir, Kayseri, Izmir have also given fellow Turkish lawyers long prison sentence to fellow lawyers.
The report says, under the state of emergency rule, serious interventions has been made to the right to defence:
According to emergency decree 668 the public prosecutor can deny a detainee the right to see a lawyer for up to five days.
- Emergency decree 667 allows the authorities to ban a particular lawyer from meeting with a client if the lawyer is found to have transmitted information to a terrorist or criminal organization, the authorities appear to have implemented across-the-board restrictions that go well beyond that provision.
Decree 667 stipulates that in cases relating to terrorism and organized crime, communications between a detainee in pretrial prison detention and their lawyer can be recorded, monitored, limited, or stopped at the request of a prosecutor if the authorities deem that there is a risk to security, or if such communications may be a means of passing on messages or instructions to “terrorist or other criminal organizations.
OnAugust2017, The Turkish Ministry of Justice issued an order on the grounds of the Decree 667 (Article 6/g12) regarding the prohibition of lawyers. As per the order sent to all provincial public prosecutors, lawyers who are themselves under criminal investigation are required to be banned for 2 years. So far, at least 400 lawyers have been banned only in Istanbul with the two decisions issued by Istanbul Peace Criminal Judges.