HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – Turkey’s multiple bar associations law

28.07.2020

Turkey’s Constitutional Court last days rejected an appeal for a stay of execution of a recently enacted law changing the structure of bar associations and allowing for multiple bar associations in a province.

The disputed law is expected to strengthen small provincial bars at the expense of the large associations in major cities that are perceived to be more critical, and it was passed despite strong objections by lawyers who took to the streets to protest what they viewed as a political encroachment on their profession.

The plan was also criticized by rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists, who described it as a calculated move to divide the legal profession along political lines and diminish the biggest bar associations’ role as human rights watchdogs.

Also Turkey’s Constitutional Court has rejected an appeal from the main opposition party to abrogate a coronavirus release law that allowed some 90,000 inmates to be released due to the pandemic while excluding political prisoners

It is excluded prisoners who were charged with terrorism, an arbitrarily and widely used charge in Turkey, especially lately for dissidents, including judges, prosecutors, journalists, lawyers and artists.

Artur Wierzbicki

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION