Ankara Bar Association head Erinç Sağkan was elected the president of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) on Dec. 5.
Sağkan defeated former union president Metin Feyzioğlu, who has been increasingly drawing ire for his support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
A total of 348 cast votes in the elections and Sağkan received 182 votes. Feyzioğlu's votes remained at 156.
Speaking after declaring victory, Sağkan said that the outcome was inevitable taking Feyzioğlu's current stance into account.
"Our delegates voted for change," he said.
Noting that citizens need the TBB more than ever in a country that human rights violations are increasing and Constitutional Court and European Court of Human Rights rulings are ignored, Sağkan noted that Feyzioğlu didn't work for the rule of law enough.
He also said that none of the lawyers will be left alone from now on.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu congratulated Sağkan on Twitter.
"The days that we establish the rule of law are near," Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Türkiye Barolar Birliği 36. Olağan Genel Kurulunda seçimi kazanarak TBB Başkanı seçilen Erinç Sağkan ve yönetim kurulunu kutluyorum. Hukukun egemenliğini birlikte tesis edeceğimiz, ülkemizde görevinizi hiçbir baskı altında kalmadan yerine getireceğiniz günler yakındır!— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) December 5, 2021
Right-wing Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener also stressed the necessity of the rule of law.
"I believe that Sağkan will fulfill his duty with the principle of the rule of law," Akşener said.
Türkiye Barolar Birliği Başkanlığı seçimini kazanan @erincsagkan'ı tebrik ediyor,— Meral Akşener (@meral_aksener) December 5, 2021
Görevini milletimizin her bir ferdi için hukukun üstünlüğü prensibiyle ve adaletle yerine getireceğine yürekten inanıyorum.