Intervention letters –…
We provide support by sending letters to state authorities about specific cases and we carry out more substantive and strategic work to improve…
We've long been deeply concerned about the increasingly challenging and hostile environment in which lawyers in Turkey have had to operate since the state of emergency following the attempted coup in July 2016.
Lawyers have been subjected to judicial harassment, including mass arrests, raids, violent attacks, threats, surveillance, illegitimate criminal charges, unfair trials and harsh sentences in disregard of the most basic principles of the rule of law.
On 19 July 2021, we wrote to the Turkish authorities.
We wrote this letter alongside:
The Turkish government has used article 5 of the Attorneyship Law to prevent individuals who are being investigated, prosecuted or dismissed by emergency decrees from enrolling in law apprenticeships or obtaining their license to practise law. This is being used by the government to further target and pressure lawyers.
These powers have been used to target lawyers who defend:
Lawyers are routinely being investigated and prosecuted for association with, or membership of, a terrorist organisation. These investigations and prosecutions are based on little or no evidence, and at times continue for many years and prevent these individuals from practising as lawyers for an undefined period of time.
Lawyers play a vital role in the protection of the rule of law and human rights. Their work is indispensable for ensuring effective access to justice for all. The specific rights and privileges that lawyers enjoy in connection to their profession should not only be guaranteed in light of the rights of the lawyer, but also for the protection of the rights of their clients, who have the right to effective and equal access to a lawyer of their own choosing.
We call on the Turkish authorities to respect the rights of lawyers and guarantee that: