Izmir Bar Association has refused to attend the new legal year opening ceremony that will be held by the Supreme Court of Appeals in the Presidential Complex. If you ask us, don’t go that hall, either, Izmir Bar has told the Supreme Court.
Being invited by the Supreme Court of Appeals to the new legal legal year opening ceremony that will be held in the Presidential Complex in the capital city of Ankara on September 2, the Izmir Bar Association has responded to the invitation with a written statement.
Signed by the Bar Association Chair Ozkan Yucel, the statement has reminded the Supreme Court that there are currently hundreds of lawyers behind bars and stated the following in brief:
“We can only call it naive that you invite us lawyers as audience to attend the ceremony that will be held in the hall of the ones who adopted a law amendment preventing the Union of Turkish Bar Associations Chair from making a speech in the ceremony because one person was bothered.
‘They imagine court halls without lawyers’
“It is undertood that, in the year 2019 as well, it will again be you who will open the new legal year in the halls of the ones who have created a judicial system disconnected from the people, who have made it difficult for the citizens to access justice, who do not give any creature the opportunity to live, who disregard the guarantee of judgeship and prosecution and whose dream is a judiciary without lawyers.
“With this letter of reply, we inform you that we have to turn down your kind invitation as the representatives of an honorable profession whose thousands of members have been captivated on the ground of their professional activities with a political decision.
‘You will talk about independence at the palace’
“If you ask us, don’t go to that hall, either. Because, in the speech that you will make there, you will talk about the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. Though you know that thousands of people struggling for rights are behind bars, you will mention personal freedom and safety, freedom of expression, the right to a fair trial and freedom of press there.
“You will repeat over and over again that you do not receive orders or instructions from anyone, you hold nothing in higher esteem than the law and you reject the law of the supreme. But, where will you do it? In the hall of the palace where the head of the executive lives.”
‘We have struggled for judicial independence’
Concluding its statement, the Izmir Bar Association has also expressed their wish for days when “human rights are protected and improved, the law is not disregarded and the judiciary is freed from the control of the political power.”
Indicating that “they, as lawyers, have struggled for the independence of the judiciary throughout history”, the Bar has further stated, “With the strength that we derive from our independence and the determination that stems from history, we will continue this struggle in the new legal year as well.”
Source: English Bianet