Lawyers' Day in Turkey: "The will of lawyers is being disregarded"

Lawyers' Day in Turkey: "The will of lawyers is being disregarded"
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Lawyers held a press conference in front of the courthouse on the occasion of April 5 Lawyers' Day. The lawyers, who said "we speak from the shadow of the wreckage," stated that the will of lawyers is ignored in an environment of oppression.

EZGI YILDIZ- Lawyers from the Progressive Lawyers' Association (CHD), who came together on April 5th for Lawyers' Day, held a press conference in front of the Caglayan Courthouse at 12:30. In the statement, the lawyers paid tribute to their colleagues who lost their lives due to the earthquake and emphasized that they would be in solidarity with their colleagues who are unable to practice their profession due to the destruction.

Cigdem Akbulut, the head of the CHD Istanbul Branch, drew attention to the situation of imprisoned lawyers in the press release:


"The number of our imprisoned colleagues increases every April 5th. The CHD-HHB case has been concluded, and 18 of our colleagues were sentenced to 150 years in prison with documents that were proven to be untrue. CHD President Lawyer Selcuk Kozagacli and 9 of our colleagues are still in prison. The government and its oppressive approach continue to do their best to prevent us from fulfilling the requirements of our profession, even if they don't kill us, imprison us, or confiscate our licenses. The will of lawyers is being ignored and hindered in all kinds of actions and transactions carried out in our working areas such as courthouses, police stations, seizure places, our offices, and all other areas."


While addressing the issues faced by women lawyers in the workplace, the statement highlighted that "especially young women lawyers are subjected to discriminatory treatment and harassment by almost all workspaces and particularly by senior lawyers. Due to the fact that the senior lawyer is the 'person who pays the salary' and has a 'superior' status, women are pushed into silence. Along with the intensity and poor conditions of work life, women are also forced to struggle against this issue."


Following the statement, a letter from imprisoned lawyer Barkin Timtik from the People's Law Office was read. In the letter read by lawyer Seda Saraldi, it was stated, "We are angry because we know that earthquakes are a natural disaster and their consequences can be prevented. At the same time, we are proud that our colleagues, who have hearts beating with the people, did not leave the earthquake zone alone even for a moment. They had the corruption documents preserved, did not allow the evidence to be destroyed, and will not allow it. The legitimacy of lawyering comes from being for the people." The letter emphasized that the struggle will continue.


In his speech on Lawyers' Day on April 5th, HDP MP Musa Piroglu said, "If lawyers in a country go on a hunger strike for the demand of fair trial and die, if they are detained and taken as prisoners for performing their duties, if they are beaten in incidents they are involved in, and if they are expelled from the courtrooms, then no one can speak of justice in that country, and if lawyers are under attack, no one's safety is guaranteed in that country."


Lawyer Seda Saraldi

Lawyer Seda Saraldi, speaking to Arti Gercek, said that lawyers are facing problems due to both economic difficulties and the current state of the legal system: "Along with many other problems, lawyers also have economic problems. There is the problem of worker lawyers who are employed almost at the poverty line. One of the most fundamental problems of the judiciary is the systematic violation of the right to independence and fair trial. Both the judiciary and lawyers' fundamental problems can be solved through judicial independence. In the current system, independent decision-making and action of the judiciary is not possible. Therefore, we call on our colleagues to be more in solidarity and struggle against human rights violations."