TBB, 80 Turkish bar associations oppose gov’t plan to amend law on lawyers

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The Turkish Bar Association (TBB) and 80 bar associations across the country have released a joint statement calling for an end to the government’s attempts to amend the law on lawyers and alter the bars’ election mechanisms, the T24 news website reported on Tuesday.

“The TBB and the bar associations should be the main interlocutor when drafting an amendment to the law on lawyers,” the statement said, urging the establishment of a commission that also includes experts and academics.

“We do not approve of the amendment plans, and we request their withdrawal so that our country can focus on its real problems.”

A few weeks ago media reports revealed that the presidency and the justice ministry were working on a plan to amend the law on lawyers and change the election system of bar associations in a way to “make them more representative.”

The draft is planned in particular to reduce the influence of the İstanbul and Ankara bar associations. The Ankara Bar Association has recently been involved in a row with the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) over a Friday sermon that the bar association said included hateful rhetoric targeting LGBTI people.

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