Turkey detains lawyers based on anonymous tip

The Ankara police have carried out house raids to detain 20 people, including lawyers from the Progressive Lawyers’ Association (Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği, ÇHD), on terrorism-related accusations based on an anonymous tip they received over the phone, the Gazete Duvar news website reported on Friday.

The detainees include ÇHD Ankara Chair Bilgi Topçu as well as members Ceren Yılmaz and Fatih Gökçe, the report said.

The raids were conducted following an anonymous tip according to which the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) was preparing for an attack in the capital city.

It is common for Turkish authorities to target lawyers based on the identity of or the criminal charges against their clients. In recent years, scores of lawyers have been detained and prosecuted for representing clients tried over pro-Kurdish political engagement, leftist activism or alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating a failed military coup in July 2016.

Turkey was ranked 116th among 140 countries in the rule of law index published by the World Justice Project (WJP) in 2022.

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