Ankara Bar Association
The Ankara state prosecutor's office has launched investigations into 48 lawyers and 12 others in the legal sector. The Ankara Bar Association described the investigations as intimidation, saying that Turkish authorities are trying to identify lawyers with their clients.
A group of lawyers in Istanbul and Ankara have come together in an attempt to form separate bar associations in the provinces. However, as their numbers have not yet reached 2,000, they have lost their chance to send delegations for elections of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) which is set to be held in October.
A group of lawyers in the capital Ankara have announced that they are preparing to form a second bar association in the province, just a few days after a similar announcement from Istanbul lawyers. The new initiatives were made possible after Turkish parliament last month passed a law which paved the way for the formation of government-friendly bar associations.
Ankara Bar Association files criminal complaint against Islamist magazine after its call to resurrect caliphate
The Ankara Bar Association has filed a criminal complaint against the pro-government Islamist magazine Gerçek Hayat over its call to resurrect the Islamic caliphate, following the conversion of Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The bar association has accused the publication of “instigating people to undertake an armed rebellion against the Turkish Republic" and “instigating public into hatred and animosity.”
Bar association heads who marched to the capital Ankara to protest a judicial decentralization bill spent the night in a deadlock with the police who has the presidents' sit-in surrounded by a barricade. As lawyers outside the park wanted to join the bar association heads, police banned both entries to and exits from the park.
Police have formed barricades around bar association heads who staged a sit-in at the central Kuğulu Park in the capital Ankara in protest of a government bill allowing for the formation of multiple bar associations in each province. Lawyers who came to the area in support of the bar association heads slammed the police's action saying the park cannot be closed off to the public.
A group of lawyers last week made a trademark application for the name “Ankara Right and Justice Bar,” although the legislation allowing decentralization of bar associations has not yet been voted on in Turkey's parliament. A main opposition CHP MP slammed this move, saying the “division” of Ankara Bar Association has already started.
Ankara governor’s office bans demonstrations ahead of bar associations’ planned ‘Great Defense Meeting’
The Ankara governor’s office on July 2 banned all demonstrations and protests in the province for two weeks, citing the fight against the novel coronavirus. The ban came just a day before lawyers' planned “Great Defense Meeting” in the province in defiance of the government's plan to decentralize bar associations.
The Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) is planning a march to protest a draft bill that would divide large cities' bar associations into smaller institutions. 31 bar associations in Turkey have officially opposed the proposed legislation, and some bar heads attempted a march against in earlier in June.
Bar associations have begun marching to the capital Ankara to protest the government's increasing pressure on them. The move came after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) intensified its efforts to amend the law on changing bar associations' election systems in what critics say an effort to increase the number of pro-government figures in bars.
Turkish prosecutors have given 15 days to 11 executives of the Ankara Bar Association to submit their defenses over their criticism of Diyanet head Ali Erbaş's homophobic remarks in April.
Turkish prosecutors have said they have not found any reason to start an investigation into Diyanet head Ali Erbaş over his comment that "homosexuality causes disease." The prosecutors' decision came as Amnesty International called on the Turkish gov't to take urgent action to counter the increasing number of discriminatory statements and policies by state officials against LGBTI people.
Chamber of engineers and architects slams Erdoğan’s plan to change professional bodies’ election system
The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) has slammed President Erdoğan over his plan to change the election system of professional bodies, mainly bar associations and medical chambers. TMMOB chief Emin Koramaz said in a statement on May 5 that Erdoğan wants to “make professional bodies nonfunctional and control them through the means of ‘a legal regulation.’”