On 24 February 2020, Bar Associations of Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Aydın, Balıkesir, Bilecik, Burdur, Bursa, Çanakkale, Denizli, Diyarbakır, Edirne, Antep, Hatay, İstanbul, İzmir, Kırklareli, Kocaeli, Manisa, Mersin, Muğla, Urfa, Tekirdağ, Van and Yalova made seven-article joint declaration. We translated the most important parts of the declaration.
The Council of Judges and Prosecutors has entirely politicized
Unlawful practices and direct interventions from the Executive branch into the trials closely followed by the public have recently reached an unacceptable extent. The Council of Judges and Prosecutors has entirely politicized and turned into an oppressive authority over the independent judges by assuming statements of the Executive (branch of the Government) as an order.
Turkey is experiencing the most severe judicial crisis of its history
The Republic of Turkey is experiencing the most severe judicial crisis of its history. Courts are disbanded because of their decisions, investigations are initiated against judges even before the ink of their signatures have dried, and the principle of the independence of the judiciary is being violated every day with a new example. Today, it has even become an ordinary practice for judgments of the Supreme Court and ECtHR not to be enforced. Citizens from all walks of society continue their lives in an environment where legal security is eliminated.
Turkey has become the largest prisoner of lawyers
Turkey has become the largest prisoner of lawyers as a result of the crisis of lack of democracy that it has been experiencing in recent years. Our fellow lawyers are being tried by courts which themselves have unduly come under unprecedented pressure and which constantly fail to follow the most basic procedures properly and consequently receive severe sentences for merely acting in their respective professional capacity. Today’s reality about Turkey reflects a country that Turkish lawyers have to go on hunger strike for their cries for a fair trial almost often ignored. Without prejudice to their proceedings in court, we urge the judiciary to comply with universally accepted principles of law and to refuse all sort of political intervention.