Lawyers and Justice on Trial in Turkey as Court Decides to Keep Lawyers Under Arrest

The lawyers in the Contemporary Lawyers’ Association are under attack from the Turkish government for defending leftist clients and being vociferous about justice, their clients, and their cases. This is not tolerated by a justice system that works by the government’s orders coming down from higher-ups. The decisions justices make will determine if they will have a job or not based on whether their conclusions are favorable to Erdoğan’s rule or not.

Lawyers and Justice on Trial in Turkey as Court Decides to Keep Lawyers Under Arrest

This is Turkey. When lawyers defend progressives, the government accuses and prosecutes the attorneys.

The lawyers in the Contemporary Lawyers’ Association are under attack from the Turkish government for defending leftist clients and being vociferous about justice, their clients, and their cases. This is not tolerated by a justice system that works by the government’s orders coming down from higher-ups. The decisions justices make will determine if they will have a job or not based on whether their conclusions are favorable to Erdoğan’s rule or not.

19 Lawyers were charged in 2013 for “being members of an organization,” a common charge to send people the government doesn’t like to prison. 4 lawyers were acquitted while 14 lawyers were found guilty. Ebru Timtik, one of the accused lawyers, a young woman, died protesting the injustice, bias, and a total travesty of independent courts, while on a hunger strike.

The case was handled yesterday at a court hearing where international lawyers were also present with their court attires as observers.

The ex-president of the justice group, Contemporary Lawyers’ Association, ÇHD, Selçuk Kozağaçlı, addressed the current judges, saying, “The previous six judges that acquitted me were all forced to leave their posts and exiled to other places. So, what do you want me to ask you to do? I can’t ask you to release me. You have families and children.” Lawyers are under “Office Arrest.”

He further said, “I never requested to be released in the last nine years of this trial. I will not request a release today either. I’ve attended every single court session. I continued my work as an attorney during trials in the beginning. I’ve traveled abroad tens of times and returned. How could the court find suspicion of escape or flight when this is what I have done? Every accusation against us in our case collapsed. There was nothing else to charge us with. Because of this, they charged us with something else and opened another case against us. Then, after years passed during the trial for the new case, they now joined ours with another ongoing case against the Contemporary Lawyers’ Association. All six judges who ruled for my release have been demoted from their positions to exile posts. What can I ask you? You must have families and children. They rotted our lives away in prisons. The only wish Ebru left us at her death bed is justice.”

The court decided to keep the accused attorneys in jail and postponed the trial.

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