Duvar English

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies have protested a bill on decentralizing bar associations via reading Molierac’s words in parliament.

“While performing our duties, we adhere to nobody; not to the client, not to the judge and nor to the government. We do not claim that there are people below our level,” they said.

“However, we do not recognize a hierarchical seniority either. There is no difference between the one who is the most junior and the one who is the most senior or the one with a reputable name. The lawyers did not have any slaves; but did not have any owners either,” they added.

The Turkish parliament’s Justice Commission passed the controversial bill early on July 6 that would allow decentralization of bar associations amid intense criticism.

The bill aims to decentralize the bar associations by permitting the establishment of alternative associations in Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir, which represent nearly half of all lawyers in the country.

The bill also seeks to change the election system of the executive board of the Turkey Bar Associations in a way to break the power of three biggest associations so that provincial organizations would have more of a say in the lawyers’ agenda.

The bill would allow bar associations that have more than 5,000 members to split into other bar associations as long as they have at least 2,000 lawyers.

Each bar association in the provinces will be represented by three delegates and a president in the General Assembly of Union of Turkish Bar Associations if the bill passes.