Salih Gergerlioğlu / DUVAR
A group of attorneys from Turkey living in Europe protested the oppression on the Turkish judiciary in front of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) building in Strasbourg on Jan. 24, the Day of the Endangered Lawyer.
Commemorating the slaughter of four attorneys in Madrid in '77, the Day of the Endangered Lawyer was dedicated to Turkish attorneys in 2019, although the oppression of the judiciary in Turkey has intensified since.
Ankara passed legislation allowing the formation of multiple bar associations in each province in 2020, a move that was slammed for undermining the influence of the organizations.
The legislation to allow for multiple bar associations was widely interpreted as a backlash to the bars' criticism of the government.
A collective of attorneys from Turkey who live in Europe, the Movement for Unconditional Justice, performs peaceful demonstrations in front of the ECHR building weekly to urge the high court to take action against Ankara's impediment of the judicial system in the country.
The crackdown on the judiciary has intensified since the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016, the movement noted in a press release, noting the discharge of thousands of public servants by Ankara under the guise of efforts to "cleanse the state of coup plotters."
However, the oppression of attorneys has been ongoing for significantly longer, the lawyers said, adding that more than 2,000 attorneys have been the subject of terrorism probes in the past decade.
A shocking 2,728 years in prison has been issued to a total of 441 attorneys during the same period, as lawyer Ebru Timtik died in Silivri Prison in August after a 238-day death fast in furtherance of his request for a fair trial.