After bar association chairs who wanted to march to Ankara said that they would call on all lawyers of Turkey to come to Ankara, the police barricades have been removed. They will now march to the city as part of their “Defense March.”

Prevented from entering the capital city of Ankara as part of their “Defense March” in protest of the planned amendments to the Attorneys’ Act, the chairs of bar associations spent the night inside the police barricades and under heavy rain at the entrance to the city.

The lawyers who tried to approach them in support were also prevented by the police yesterday evening (June 22).

CLICK – Police intervention against lawyers at the entrance of Ankara

After meetings and negotiations earlier today, the “Defense March” of bar association chairs has been permitted.

Speaking to bianet, İzmir Bar Association Chair Özkan Yücel previously said that if the march was not permitted today, they would make a call to all lawyers across the country and would invite them to Ankara. After the negotiations, the march has been allowed.

Feyzioğlu protested: Don’t stand in our way

Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) Chair Metin Feyzioğlu came to the area where the bar chairs spent the night. The chairs protested Feyzioğlu by turning their backs to him and did not allow him to enter the area.

“It happened because of you, we don’t need you, just don’t stand in our way,” the bar chairs called out to Feyzioğlu, who responded, “It is you who have brought things to this point by terrorizing the bars.”

In response, the bar chairs said, “OK, good-by. May the God be with you.” Afterwards, they chanted the slogans, “Defense has not hushed, it will not.”

Commenting on the incident, İzmir Bar Association Chair Yücel has said, “He polarized and terrorized the bars with his statements. He made accusations against lawyers. The chairs of bar associations stood arm in arm and did not let him pass despite him coming here today.”

‘We are completely interned, but determined’

Sharing details about how they spent the night in the open at the entrance to the capital city, Özkan Yücel has indicated that their soaked clothes got dry on them. The tents and even the chairs sent by the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality could not be brought into the area, he has said:

“It started raining yesterday afternoon. The municipality wanted to set up a tent, but the law enforcement prevented it. The tent could not be set up, there were not enough umbrellas or raincoats. The rain got dry on us at night. We spent the night soaked and wet. We were up most of the time. We tried to arrange somewhere to sit on pieces of wood. When the food came, we first faced a prevention. The Metropolitan Municipality sent soup. Then, it was solved. We, of course, could not drink tea or coffee inside.

“What is happening here has nothing to do with the law or democracy. No one can claim that they act in accordance with the law. A merciless treatment is the case here. We have been completely interned. They have parked busses on the side of the road. The ones passing along were greeting us by sounding horns. They cut this connection. They set up a barricade at a 500-meter distance. They did not let lawyers pass.”

Speaking to bianet in early morning hours today, Yücel said, “The negotiations are ongoing, we are determined. If no development happens till 2 p.m., we will call on our all colleagues who call us from the bars and want to come here to do so and indeed come here.”

Following this statement, the “Defense March” of bar associations chairs to the capital city of Ankara has been allowed.

“If we give up, it will mean that the law and human rights will lose,” Yücel has said and added, “No matter what we go through, we do not have right to do this. The duties that we have order us to do this.”

‘We won’t hush, we won’t obey’

Trabzon Bar Association Chair Sibel Suiçmez also made a statement about the issue on her social media account last evening:

“I am very sorry for my country. We want to give our children and youth a country where they feel proud of being a citizen and want to live, our all efforts are for this. What we went through today was beyond a nightmare. But we are here, we are here no matter rain or shine.

“We will not hush, we will not obey. All we want to do here is to walk, to use our legal right, our Constitutional right.”

Bianet – 23.06.2020

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