Turkish government has prosecuted at least 1,506 lawyers, jailed 572 of them and sentenced at least 80 lawyers to long period of imprisonment as of Feb. 1, over mostly their alleged links to the Gülen movement since the controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The Arrested Lawyers Initiative has stated in a report, titled ‘The Rights to Defense and Fair Trial Under Turkey’s Emergency Rule’ released on Feb. 1, 2018 that there has been a relentless campaign of persecutions, detentions and arrests which have targeted the critical lawyers across the country.
According to the report, lawyers have been detained and arrested on trumped-up charges as part of criminal investigations orchestrated by the political authorities and conducted by provincial public prosecutors in 77 out of Turkey’s 81 provinces.
According to the report, Konya 6th High Criminal Court has sentenced Fevzi Kayacan who is former president of Konya Bar Association and 19 other lawyers to imprisonment for up to 14 years.
Erzincan 2nd High Criminal Court has sentenced lawyers Cemalettin Özer, former president of Erzincan Bar Association, and Talip Nayır, a former board member of the same bar, to 8 years 9 month and 10 years in prison respectively.
Erzurum 2nd High Criminal Court has given Mehmet Güzel, former president of Erzurum Bar Association, and 4 other lawyers prison terms varying from 1 to 13 years.
Eskişehir 2nd High Criminal Court has sentenced 11 lawyers between 4 and 12 years in prison; Sivas 2nd High Criminal Court has sentenced 9 lawyers between 3 and 9 years in prison; Adana 11th High Criminal Court has sentenced 8 lawyers between 3 and 9 years in prison; Different courts in İstanbul, Bolu, Antalya, Kocaeli, Nigde, Kırsehir, Kayseri and İzmir provinces have also given fellow Turkish lawyers long prison sentences.
The report has also highlighted how despotic regime of Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has eradicated the rights to defence and fair trial with the decree laws under the rule of law declared in the aftermath of the controversial military coup attempt on July 15,i 2016.