Turkish bar associations to march for independent judiciary

The Istanbul Bar Association is organizing a march from the Ankara Courthouse to the Court of Cassation on March 2 to demand a judiciary free of political interference. A total of 20 bar association have announced that they will partake in the march.

Duvar English

The Istanbul Bar Association has called on its members to partake in a march in the capital Ankara on March 2 that will urge judicial independence and impartiality for the full function of the rule of law and democracy.

Some 20 other bar associations across Turkey -- including that of Ankara -- have so far announced that they will support this march, but this number is expected to increase in the upcoming days.

The march will start at 1 p.m. local time at the Ankara Courthouse and will end at the Court of Cassation. Lawyers will walk with their robes on, while holding torches.

Turkey 'experiencing most severe judiciary crisis of its history'

Meanwhile, 25 bar associations issued a joint declaration on Feb. 24, saying Turkey was experiencing its “most severe judiciary crisis” of its history.

The declaration was signed following a meeting of bar associations' chairpersons in the western province of İzmir and also had the signatures of the Istanbul and Ankara bar associations.

The seven-point declaration said political intervention into the judiciary had come to an “unacceptable point.” It said the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) had become "politicized” and turned into the political authorities' “oppression tool on independent judges.”

“TurkishRepublic is experiencing its most severe judiciary crisis of itshistory. Courts are disbanded following their decisions andinvestigations are launched into judges who hand down rulings beforethe ink of their signatures dries up, and the principle of judiciaryindependence is violated every day with a new example,” it said.

Non-implementation of ECHR's judgements 'became ordinary'

The declaration further said the non-implementation of the rulings handed down by Turkey's Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) became “ordinary.”

“Citizens from every fraction of society are continuing their lives in an environment where the security of law has disappeared,” it said.

Top court warns lower courts to abide by its rulingsTop court warns lower courts to abide by its rulings

Turkey’s Constitutional Court previously warned that lower courts need to abide by its rulings, instead of questioning them.

“The duty of lower courts is not to evaluate the Constitutional Court’s duties and authorities, but is only to clear away violations and their results determined by the top court,” the top court said in a ruling on Jan. 9.