Müzeyyen Yüce / DUVARTurkish parliament's Justice Commission approves controversial bill on decentralizing bars
The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has said that the multiple bar system will yield similar damages as the presidential system.
In its dissenting opinion, the HDP noted that there are no examples of the proposed system around the world, while branding it "Turkish-type multiple bar model."
"Previously, a presidential system was integrated to the country and the harms of a one-man regime is seen. The Turkish-type multiple bar model was brought to the country's agenda. It's utterly dangerous to impose a system that will lead to problems," the party said.
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 draft bill is set to be voted in parliament on July 9 and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) is planning to take it to the Constitutional Court for annulment.Ankara governor’s office bans demonstrations ahead of bar associations' planned 'Great Defense Meeting'
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.Parliamentary commission declines lawyers' demand to take part in discussions on bar associations bill
The CHP, HDP and Good (İYİ) Party presented their dissenting opinions, with the main opposition saying that the proposed changes are in violation of the constitution.
The CHP also said that the proposed changes would violate the right to a fair trial.
"With the bill, the bars' engagement in politics would be institutionalized and the defense would split based on political views, ethnicity and beliefs. The political views and the influence of a bar that a lawyer is a part of would affect the results of a case," it said, adding that the bill stems from the totalitarian understanding of the government.
"The bill would not only divide bars, but also courts. It would remove justice and harm our social unity," it added.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is trying to finish what followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen started, the CHP also said.Lawyers protest government's draft bill that would decentralize bar associations in Istanbul
"The bill is based on FETÖ's 2013 project of disabling bars and aims to finish what it started," it said, using an abbreviation of the Gülenist organization.
İYİ Party, meanwhile, said that the bill would make the situation of judges even more difficult due to political pressure.
"The judges will not be able to issue objective rulings when handling cases with pro-government lawyers," it said.
The party also suggested D'Hondt system in bars' elections to ensure a just voting.