1392 lawyers call for release of TİP MP Atalay from jail

1392 lawyers in Turkey have signed a petition demanding the release of opposition TİP MP Can Atalay who is still kept in prison despite being elected as a lawmaker.

Duvar English

1392 lawyers in Turkey have signed a petition and demanded the release of Can Atalay, the imprisoned lawmaker of the Workers' Party of Turkey (TİP). 

In the petition, the lawyers demanded from the Court of Cassation, Turkey's highest appeals court, to “make an urgent decision” on the matter and said it is “one of the most basic legal requirements” to make such a decision. 

The lawyers recalled the previous decisions of the Constitutional Court (AYM) and said “It is clear that a deputy cannot be arrested or prosecuted in any way except severe criminal offense without a decision of the parliament.”

“We hope and wish that the Court of Cassation will listen to the voice, word and requirements of the law without further delay and will make a decision on the issue as soon as possible,” they added.

Atalay, lawyer by profession, was arrested on April 25, 2022 after being sentenced to 18 years in prison in the Gezi trial. Despite being elected as a lawmaker from the southern Hatay province in the May 14 elections and receiving parliamentary mandate, Atalay is still imprisoned.

Last week, the chief public prosecutor's office of the Court of Cassation has penned their opinion on the Gezi Park case and submitted a negative opinion on the release of Can Atalay, arguing that he was convicted on the charge of “attempting to overturn the government” which is why he can’t be granted parliamentary immunity.