The Mersin Bar Association protested against the opening of an investigation against its members, who were beaten by police as they tried to give a statement to the press at the courthouse on February 18, under the charge of “opposing the law on meetings and demonstrations”. In the statement made in the garden of the Mersin courthouse, it was said that a “security weakness will occur” due to the explosion of the vehicle carrying the guards in Bursa, and the equipment of the journalists did not was not taken inside. The journalists, who waited a long time at the courthouse, left their equipment in custody and took photos with their mobile phones. Turkish Bar Union (TBB) President R. Erinç Sağkan, TBB Board Members, Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) Co-Chairs İlknur Alaca and Bünyamin Şeker, and many bar presidents and lawyers attended the statement, during which the banner reading “Mersin Bar Association” was unveiled.
“WE DO NOT ACCEPT”
Condemning the beatings and obstructions against lawyers, the President of the Mersin Bar Association, Gazi Özdemir, said: “It should be known that in a society where lawyers representing the defense are not free and efficient, the freedom of no one is not guaranteed. We do not accept that our colleagues are attacked with intolerance even when they come together to exercise one of their most basic constitutional rights, and that an investigation is opened against our colleagues while the shame of this attack continues . We want this illegality to end and fundamental rights guaranteed today, and we share with the public that we will not back down in any way from the Constitution and freedoms.
“DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY ARISING FROM LAW”
Speaking after Özdemir, TBB President Erinç Sağkan said: “The building you see behind you is a courthouse and our citizens are seeking rights and laws in this building. Women who have abused, the children who were abused, the laborers and workers who couldn’t collect their debts are all here. And they have their lawyers with them. Be sure that if you remove these lawyers from this system, these buildings will produce injustice instead of justice, these buildings will turn into hollow stone buildings that create injustice, instead of delivering justice.In fact, just as these buildings are workplaces for employees, workers, prosecutors and judges in this building, these buildings are mainly workplaces for lawyers. Because if you remove the lawyers from the system, the judges from this decision-making mechanism, the public prosecutors cannot They can’t be judges or prosecutors, they’re just civil servants. It is therefore the authority of defense which ensures the establishment of justice. It is the defense authority who stands with the citizen and protects the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, and the lawyers who care about the problems of citizens and touch their shoulders. That’s why this is our workplace. In fact, lawyers and bar associations have the right to make a statement in front of their place of work in order to inform the press on all matters concerning the legal system in Turkey and the fundamental constitutional rights and freedoms. and the liability of bar associations arising from the law”.
“FIGHT FOR THE LAW”
In the statement made for Aysel Tuğluk, Sağkan condemned the intervention against the lawyers and concluded by saying: “His intervention in an extremely harsh manner is the only indication that the lawyers in Turkey are in danger. If the lawyers in Turkey are in danger, it is the citizens who are in danger, the fundamental freedoms and rights of the citizens. In both statements, the extremely brutal intervention of law enforcement clearly deprives citizens of their right to defend themselves. It is not possible for bar associations to accept intervention against lawyers who make statements in front of the courthouse. We are not one step ahead or one step behind all our colleagues who fight for rights and freedoms, we are right next to them, we will continue to fight with them and fight for them. rights and the law until the end.
“WE WILL CONTINUE TO EXPLAIN YOU”
ÖHD co-chair İlknur Alaca, who then spoke, mentioned that an investigation had been opened against them because her colleagues supported Tuğluk and said: “We are calling the prosecutor’s office. An investigation should have been opened not on our colleagues who exercised their constitutional right, but on the police forces who prevented the exercise of this right. This investigation is another version of the attack on our colleagues in Şırnak 10 days ago and in Batman a week ago. Attacks on lawyers have now become systematic and regular. Just as prosecutors organize Mevlits, cocktails and press releases in courthouses, courthouses are also workplaces for us lawyers. We don’t just practice law in courtrooms. Of course we will inform the public about our customers on social issues, of course we will make a statement. Many lawsuits have already been filed on this subject and all have resulted in an acquittal. As we do today, we will continue to make statements in our areas of work, in courthouses,” he said.