For quite some time, there has been a growing resentment, amongst provincial bar association and the public in general, towards Metin Feyzioğlu who is president of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (UTBA) because of his negligence about the Government’s gross human rights violations. Since, 2016, Mr Feyzioglu has been running the UTBA as an institution embedded to the Government. He has overlooked the Government’s crackdown against lawyers whereby more than 1500 lawyers have been prosecuted, 600 detained and 321 were convicted, whitewashed credible and concrete torture allegations, consistently spread the Government’s narratives, saw no harm to attend 2019 Judicial Year Opening Ceremony held in Erdogan’s palace which was boycotted by fifty-one provincial bar associations.
However, it seems his latest statements about the Turkish Government’s military operation into Syria went off the limit. On 12 October 2019, during a live television show broadcast by the CNN-Turk, Mr Feyzioglu said that ‘Turkey was not obliged to consider the right to life of civilians who were being used as a human shield by the SDF/YPG.’ This statement caused huge resentment among in Turkey and international bar associations. On 14 October 2019, the Swedish Bar Association condemned Mr Feyzioglu because of this statement.
Today, Cihan Aydin, president of the Diyarbakir Bar Association announced that legal threshold required to call an extraordinary meeting has been met as ten provincial bar associations (İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Bursa, Diyarbakır, Adana, Antalya, Aydın, Van, Şanlıurfa) called an extraordinary meeting to unseat Metin Feyioglu from office and elect a new president.
Under, Article 115 of the Law no: 1136, Mr Feyzioglu shall immediately hold a General Assembly with the agenda of electing a new president.