İstanbul Bar files complaint against Minister Soylu over his ‘break the legs’ order

Turkey's Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

The İstanbul Bar Association has filed an official complaint against Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu over his call for policemen to “break the legs” of drug dealers, according to a report by Cumhuriyet daily on Friday.

In the submission, the association asked for an investigation to be opened against Soylu on the grounds of “openly provoking crime”, “instigating torture” and “violating the constitution”, it said.

“Regardless of how much they will criticize or condemn me for saying this, when a drug dealer is seen outside a school, it is the police’s duty to break that drug dealer’s legs,” Soylu had said during a General Security and Struggle against Drugs Meeting in Ankara on Wednesday.

“Those who do what’s necessary against such people [drug dealers] – who take away the lives of my country’s youth, who poison them and put their families in misery – can put the responsibility on me,” he added.

“The state of emergency does not change this legal situation,” the Bar Association wrote. “Our state is a party to the European Convention on Human Rights as a state with the rule of law belonging to the European Council, and in the constitution it is written that we still have the rule of law.”

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Friday that “No one is above the law, whether be it a minister or a prime minister,” in response to a question asking him to evaluate Minister Soylu’s suggestion that it is the “police’s duty to break drug dealers’ legs” earlier this week.

“Soylu has publicly shared the Interior Ministry’s stance on the fight against drugs in his own words. His style of wording might have led to misunderstandings, but he has tried to explain how despicable this business [of dealing drugs to children] is and should be addressed in the strongest way possible,” Yıldırım said during an opening ceremony in Ankara.

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