A deputy of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has asked Turkey's Justice Ministry about claims that families of lawyers detained in Ankara earlier this month were getting calls asking for ransom in return for their loved ones' release. The unidentified individuals on the phone reportedly told the families that the lawyers will be formally arrested if the ransom is not paid.
Turkish experts have protested a Turkish private university in North Macedonia as it admits law students without the requirement of the national higher education exam, although alumni are permitted to practice law in Turkey. HDP deputy Rüştü Tiryaki called on AKP deputy Mustafa Şentop, who is the board honorary chairman of the university in question, to explain why Turkish education watchdog YÖK's accreditation guidelines are being violated for this specific university.
A Turkish foundation's university in North Macedonia is admitting law students with merely a high-school degree and does not require any university entrance exam result, as long as the annual tuition of 4,500 euros is paid. Despite this, graduates of International Balkan University's law program can have their degree accredited by Turkey's higher education authority YÖK.
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.
Istanbul police battered a woman as they detained her for faulty use of their face masks. Turkey's Progressive Lawyers' Association (ÇHD) shared footage of the detention where one woman falls to the ground as a result of the officer's harsh treatment.
Death fasting lawyer Aytaç Ünsal called on the people to not let the doctors force feed him and another death fasting lawyer, Ebru Timtik. In a message he sent via his wife, Ünsal said that the doctors will "circle around them like vultures" and intervene medically without their consent if they lose their consciousness.
Police officers in Ankara and Istanbul brutally detained demonstrators commemorating the victims of the 2015 Suruç bombing that killed more than 30 members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF). Police also assaulted lawyers who went to an Istanbul police station to follow-up on detained demonstrators.
Lawyers who were waiting outside Ankara's Kuğulu Park to support bar association heads protesting in a sit-in got blocked by police as they marched to parliament. The legal professionals are all in the capital to protest a draft bill on the parliament floor that would dilute bar associations' authorities.
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.
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.
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.
President Erdoğan has said that his ruling AKP government's bill which aims to decentralize bar associations will be submitted to the Parliament on June 30. Meanwhile, the İzmir Bar Association lawyers on June 29 attempted to stage a protest march defying the government's legislation; however, the police prevented them from doing so, placing barricades in front of the bar association's building.
Turkey's main opposition CHP has said that June 22 will go down in history as a "pitch-dark" one for Turkish democracy and judiciary after sixty bar association heads were not let in Ankara to complete their Defense March. Police officers were on caught camera battering and dragging some of the senior lawyers during a scuffle.
More than 11,000 people have signed a petition in support of lawyers Aytaç Ünsal and Ebru Timtik, who are currently behind bars and on a hunger strike. The two are among a group of 18 lawyers who were convicted earlier this year with a total of 159 years in prison on charges of membership in an illegal organization.