Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into the Diyarbakır Bar Association over a statement it published on the Armenian genocide.
The bar's president and board members are facing charges of “insulting the Turkish nation, the Turkish Republic, the state's institutions and organs.”
The bar's president, Nahit Eren, slammed the investigation on his Twitter account, saying: “While the Diyarbakır Bar Association is defending everyone's freedom of speech to the end, it will not limit its own freedom of speech due to the oppression and investigation.”
Diyarbakır Barosu, herkesin ifade hürriyetini sonuna kadar savunurken baskılar ve soruşturmalar sebebiyle kendi ifade özgürlüğünü sınırlamayacaktır. Değerlerimize yakışır şekilde söylediğimiz sözleri yine aynı tarihsel değerlere yakışır şekilde savunmaya devam edeceğiz. https://t.co/cRoIA5IFNF— Nahit Eren (@av_nahiteren) April 26, 2021
On April 24, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, the bar association released its statement under the title of “We share the pain of the Great Calamity,” pointing out to the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915.
“The 'Armenian Deportation' which started on April 24, 1915 has marked the beginning of one of the most painful calamities of our social history. This is why April 24 is one of the darkest days of the Armenian nation who has scattered around the world's every corner,” the bar's statement said.
Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces in World War One, but denies the killings were systematically orchestrated and constitute genocide.
On April 24, U.S. President Joe Biden has become the first American president to recognize the Armenian genocide, a move that has sparked outrage in Ankara.