Turkish court arrests prominent lawyer Kavili over his defense for client

Prominent Turkish lawyer Ömer Kavili, who was detained after his discussion with a judge in a case where the members of Grup Yorum music group have been tried, was arrested by a Turkish court on charges of allegedly insulting the court members. Reacting harshly against the ruling, lawyer Kavili stated that, “lawyers have never bow before the despots and unlawful, and you could not force us for submission.”

According to a report by online news outlet TR724, İstanbul 28th High Criminal Court in Silivri Prison, which has been trying the members of the Grup Yorum, ruled to arrest and sent their lawyer Ömer Kavili to prison on Friday.

The report said that the judges had a procedural dispute with lawyer Ömer Kavili during the hearing on Thursday. Following the discussion, the chief judge of the court asked Kavili to be removed from the court. As Kavili reacted against this arbitrary decision, he was taken out by the security forces which used excessive force. The chief judge also filed a criminal complaint against lawyer Ömer Kavili and lawyer Nadide Özdemir on Thursday.

Lawyers Kavili and Özdemir were detained by gendarmerie as they went to attend in the continuing hearing of Grup Yorum’s trial on Friday in Silivri. Kavili has shared the news about his detention on his personal Twitter account and stated that “I was taken into custody. Yesterday, I was taken out of the court when I wanted to see my client. Now, my entry to the court has been forbidden and I was taken into custody.”

Lawyer Kavili was arrested by an İstanbul court and charged with allegedly “insulting” judges. It was claimed in the arrest decision of the court that Kavili’s aim was not to use the right of defense, he applied a “contra-psychological tactic” to show himself as a victim and thus he wants to shake confidence in the judiciary, since his actions are worthy to be a news story he aimed at creating public indignation.

Lawyer Ömer Kavili reacted to the court’s ruling for his arrest and noted that “I object to this decision of the AKP era, in order to make it be abolished when the law returns again. This decision is clearly contrary to moral values, logic and scientific principles. Lawyers have never bow before the despots and unlawful, and you could not force us for submission.”

Following his lawyers’ objection to the court on his arrest, lawyer Ömer Kavili was released from notorious Sliviri Prison on Saturday morning.

According to Turkey’s Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) 572 lawyers have been put behind bars since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The majority of the lawyers were arrested on charges of “terrorism” due to their alleged links with the Gülen movement.

The Turkish government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has prosecuted 1,546 lawyers on overbroad charges based on questionable accusations that preclude the right to a defense; 585 lawyers remain under arrest, and 169 lawyers have been sentenced to jail terms ranging from three to 12 years, according to data compiled by the Arrested Lawyers Initiative.

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