21 Lawyers were sentenced in Istanbul

Turkish government’s crackdown against lawyers continues relentlessly. Profession of lawyer which was one of the very first victims of post-coup attempt purge has been suffering from relentless attack by executive-controlled Turkish judiciary. 

So far, in Turkey, 162 lawyers have been sentenced of terrorism related accusations,  and mainly of being the member of an armed terrorist organization. Twenty one of those who have been sentenced are member of the Istanbul Bar Association. Istanbul Public Prosecutorial Office has been prosecuting 503 lawyers, of those 147 have been arrested and so far at-least twenty one members of Istanbul Bar Association have been convicted:

  1. Lawyer Eren Keskin: 7½ years, propaganda of terrorism.
  2. Lawyer Ayse Batumlu: 5 months, propaganda of terrorism.
  3. Lawyer Akın Atalay: 7½ years, propaganda of terrorism.
  4. Lawyer Mustafa Kemal Güngör: 4 years, propaganda of terrorism.
  5. Lawyer Bülent Utku: 2 years, propaganda of terrorism.
  6. Lawyer Suphi Bat: 8 years & 9 months, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  7. Lawyer Burak Keskin: 7½ years, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  8. Lawyer Burak Karaduman: 7 years, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  9. Lawyer Özge Elif Hendekçi: 7 years & 11 months, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  10. Lawyer Yılmaz Çiçek: 7¼ years, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  11. Lawyer Mustafa Çağlar Akgun: 6¼ years, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  12. Lawyer Ali Rıza Mete: 6¼ years, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  13. Lawyer Selim Ozkan: 6¼ years, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  14. Lawyer Coşkun Taşkın: 6¼ years, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  15. Lawyer Salih Boyalı: 6¼ years, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  16. Lawyer Turan Öztürk: 6¼ years, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  17. Lawyer Yakup Başer: 6¼ years, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  18. Lawyer Kamil Ata: 6¼ years, membership to an armed terrorist organization.
  19. Lawyer Fidel Okan: 1½ years, insulting a public officer.
  20. Lawyer Ramazan Demir: 11 months, propaganda of terrorism.
  21. Lawyer Dogan Akkurt: 5 years & 10 months, membership to an armed terrorist organization.

If the given sentences are upheld by the Court of Appeal, lawyers will serve 3/4 of the given term and will be disbarred.

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, 582 lawyers have been arrested and 1544 lawyers are under prosecution, 162 lawyers were sentenced to long imprisonment.  Some of the arrested lawyers were subjected torture and ill-treatment.

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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.

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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Categories: Situation in Turkey, Weekly Newsletters

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