Lawyers March Against State Repression
Following a new bill proposing to restrict lawyers’ ability to criticise the Turkish state, lawyers from across Turkey have joined a march protesting the bill. Chairpersons of bar associations from all over the country started the march to Ankara last Friday from several provinces.
They are protesting against a draft law by the Erdoğan regime that aims to bring bar associations under state control. Lawyers have argued that this would dramatically restrict their rights. The protesters have also demanded that the state create an independent judiciary.
56 bar associations from across the country have joined the march to the Turkish parliament in Ankara. Several groups of marchers have faced harassment and attempts to halt their progress by the police.
Despite these attacks on the protests, the march has continued with many lawyers reaching Ankara even when faced with a concerted police effort to block entry to the city.
The proposed law came after a bar association in Istanbul critcised one of the Erdoğan regime’s key allies, Ali Erbaş, for his use of homophobic and misogynistic language. The move by the state is clearly an attempt to silence any criticism of the regime and its conservative nationalist ideology.