Police attack lawyers' protest in Ankara

The Turkish police attacked the lawyers protesting in Ankara. For weeks the lawyers have been opposing a draft law of the regime, through which it tries to get the bar associations under its control.

On Thursday, in the Kuğulu park in Ankara, the presidents of the bar associations gathered to collect signatures against the "Multiple Bar Association Bill" of the AKP/MHP government. The draft law introduced by the Turkish government provides for the establishment of new chambers as an alternative to the existing bar associations in the 81 provinces of Turkey. This is intended to break the monopoly of the bar associations and, after the courts and public prosecutors' offices, to bring the defence on AKP/MHP line. Up to now, Erdoğan-critical lawyers are the majority in all chambers.

"Rule of law instead of police state"

The protesting lawyers carried signs that read "For democratic and independent bar associations", "No justice without defence", "Rule of law instead of police state" and "If you cut the voice of the lawyers, you cut the voice of the people".

Police assault on the representatives of the bar associations

The lawyers were surrounded by the police and pushed back with shields and a police bus. Passers-by supported the protesters who were squeezed between a police bus and a café. Some lawyers stood in front of the police bus, which then moved towards them. The trapped lawyers were beaten by the police.

The police attack also affected the HDP MPs Oya Ersoy, Mahmut Toğrul and Züleyha Gülüm, as well as the independent MP Ahmet Şık and the leader of the Labour Party TIP, Erkan Baş. The lawyers were squeezed so massively that some of them could not breathe. "Are you trying to kill us?" cried one lawyer.

Kicks against lawyers

The police kept stepping on the lawyers. "The defence is not silent and will never be silent", the lawyers said and continued their action despite police violence.