Eleven executives of the Ankara Bar Association including the chairman are being subject to an investigation for criticizing homophobic statements of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) head Ali Erbaş, the daily BirGün reported on Sept. 28.
"Islam curses homosexuality," Erbaş had said on April 14, 2020. "This is because it brings about disease and rots generations," he had further said.
The Ankara Bar Association had condemned Erbaş's hate speech in a press conference shortly after, and 11 of its members were accused of "insulting a public officer on duty for his beliefs, thoughts and opinions.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office then launched a lawsuit against the bar members and took their statements for a possible prison sentence of between one and two years.
The bar association gave a common defense via a press statement and said that they had used their freedom of expression, and that their words had been misinterpreted.
The first hearing of the trial will be held on Nov. 11 at the Ankara 16th Heavy Penal Court.