Istanbul Bar Association statement

Istanbul Bar Association – 12 June 2013

For Turkish:

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Unfortunately we are witnessing police violence and terror provoked by our government. The police is unlawfully attacking the people who are using their constitutional and democratic rights to protest, forgetting that they are dealing with humans and using excessive force, disregarding the safety and health of the people by using gas cartridges and plastic bullet. Yesterday the same thing happened and unfortunately many of our citizens got injured. There is a systematic use of offence towards the citizens. This is called Police violence and this violence is proven by videos. These videos and information are being archived by our bar association. There will be criminal complaints, and the subject will be brought to the attention of international public opinion.

This police violence finally showed up in Caglayan Judicial Court, the heart of justice and the lawyers place to work. The violence used by the so called riot police towards our colleagues was documented by videos. Our colleagues were dragged with their robe by using excessive force. It is unacceptable to be treated that way in a location where the lawyers exert their judicial duty. The duty of the police in the judicial court is to maintain the security. It is not the duty of police to interfere with the lawyers in judicial court.

It’s only the prosecutors and not the police who can examine lawyer. Yesterday they were dragged to Police Department and then send to the hospital. This illegal action is unacceptable. It is very grave to see the content of the police force. Our colleagues were released after the attempts of our bar council. Unfortunately this doesn’t undo the fact that there has been violence and lawlessness.

We condemn the violence used towards our colleagues and we announce that there will be consequences. This violence is made towards the profession, the bar councils and more than 80,000 lawyers. According to the 6th article on the Turkish Penal Code, violence used toward the lawyers who practice their legal duty will be prosecuted. These violent offenses, unlawful cases and examinations will not stop or scare us lawyers from our fight to defend justice and law. Lawyers and bar councils will continue to defend our rights, our freedom, our justice and our democracy no matter what. It’s the day to fight against fascism.

We are calling out and warning the government and all the related people: Stop the violence, the unlawful enforcement made towards the public and the lawyers. If not there will be an “appropriate” answer depending on the scale of this violence and unlawfulness. The only language we understand is “law”. The people who ignore or don’t understand that language will learn it.

With respect,

Istanbul Bar Council


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