Response from the United Nations Rapporteur to the 60 Detained Judiciary Officers, 48 of whom are Lawyers and Intern Lawyers, in Turkey

Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, which considers the fulfillment of a constitutional right by the lawyers following the investigation and prosecution procedures of the persons who were prosecuted after the treacherous coup theater of 15 July as a terrorist organization activity, detained a total of 60 jurists, including 48 lawyers, 7 intern lawyers, 3 dismissed judges, 1 dismissed judge candidate, and 1 law school graduate.

Ongoing acts both after 17-25 December 2013 and the treacherous coup theater of 15 July 2016, it has shown how insincere the Erdogan’s regimes’ words were, in which speaking of the rule of law, the presumption of innocence, human rights, justice, and the state of law, and saying that “The rule of law will be essential, not the law of superiors in my country.”

Doctors, nurses, journalists, engineers, lawyers, academicians, teachers, students, athletes, artists, business people and many other segments of the society, who have not even hold a gun and have a single criminal record, have confronted with terrorism accusations in an unlawful manner, regardless of the presumption of innocence, and have been treated as terrorists. Following this, the detention of 60 jurists, who wanted to practice their profession, proved that ‘the Law of the Supreme’ was sovereign in Turkey, in which the democratic understanding of the law has been cut off. The country has passed under a dictatorial rule.

Several bar associations in Turkey have responded to 60 jurists’ detention because of their professional activities. Correspondingly, Şanlıurfa Bar Association has stated the following:

“We state that we are against all kinds of unlawful and biased attempts to intimidate and discredit the defense. We demand the immediate release of our colleagues who were detained just because of their professional activities”.


Another reaction to the detention of lawyers came from United Nations Special Rapporteur Diego García-Sayán. Garcia has shared his opinion with the following statement on his Twitter account regarding the detention of the jurists, including 48 lawyers:

“Recent arrests in Turkey of 48 lawyers and 7 intern lawyers aggravate the systematic repression against lawyers and their representative organizations imposed by the government”

and added that “since 2016, more than 1600 lawyers have been arrested and 441 of those lawyers have been convicted”.

Zafer Kurt


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