Turkey probes heads of 12 bar associations for insulting the state and its institutions
Turkey has launched a probe into the heads of 12 bar associations across the country over their joint statement against Turkish military operations into Northern Syria and Iraq.
Turkish prosecutors have launched the investigation on charges of “Insulting the Turkish Nation, the State of the Republic of Turkey and its institutions” under Turkish Penal Code’s (TCK) controversial Article 301, the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) said on Wednesday.
On Nov.21, 12 bar associations, including Southeastern and Eastern Agri, Batman, Bingol, Dersim, Diyarbakir, Hakkari, Mardin, Mus, Siirt, Sanliurfa, Sirnak and Van provinces have issued a joint statement titled “We should defend peace under all circumstances,” following Turkish armed forces have launched an aerial campaign into Northern Syria and Northern Iraq, targeting the PKK and the YPG militants. The statement called for peaceful political solutions to the regional problems, objecting military interventions.
Bölge Barolarından Ortak Açıklama;— Diyarbakır Barosu (@Diyarbakirbaro) November 21, 2022
Her Koşulda Barışı Savunmalıyız! pic.twitter.com/BySRFk48V7
Nahit Eren, the head of Diyarbakir Bar Association said there is no element in the content of their statement that would constitute a crime.
“The intention here is to try to keep us out of these areas of activity,” Eren told MLSA.
“Unfortunately, Article 301 comes into effect for all those who think differently in Turkey or who express an opinion regarding the solutions for the country’s problems or who express their opinion in a way that is not pleasing the government,” he said.
Turkey on Nov.20 has launched airstrikes into Northern Syria and Iraq targeting Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate Kurdish People’s Protection Units’ (YPG) bases, in response to an Istanbul bomb attack on Nov.13 that has left six people dead and 81 wounded. The PKK and the YPG denied involvement.