Most judges and prosecutors are controlled or suppressed by the AKP-MHP government. Now, the last remaining independent civil rights groups, like the Bar Associations, are under attack.
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 association heads have filed a criminal complaint against Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Ankara Governor Vasip Şahin for authorizing the police to halt their Defense March through a violent intervention. The criminal petition said that police officers at the scene of the incident "deprived the bar heads of their liberty” and “imposed torture and ill-treatment on them."
Turkey's General Directorate of Security (EGM) has issued a written statement defending a violent police intervention against bar association heads who were initially denied entry to the capital Ankara on June 22. The EGM said in a written statement on June 24 that the police “acted in accordance with the legislation” while “pulling lawyers to the side” of the road.
The Interior Ministry has allowed bar heads to continue their march to the capital Ankara following a 27-hour-long stand-off. Union of Turkish Bar Associations head Metin Feyzioğlu attempted to visit bar heads where they were kept waiting by police, but was blocked by bar heads from entering.
Bar association heads have launched a sit-in after police prevented them from entering the capital Ankara to end their Defense March. According to Mehmet Baran Selanik from İzmir Bar, a police officer punched Antep Bar head Bektaş Şarklı. Police also tried to detain Ordu Bar head Haluk Murat Poyraz, but lawyers prevented police from doing so.