Latest news

Turkey Good news: Ramazan Demir and Ayse Acinikli released

08 Sep 16 

Ramazan Demir and Ayşe Acinikli were released on 7 September 2016, after five months in pre trial detention on suspicion of terrorist activities. Ramazan Demir previously defended both journalists and lawyers who were prosecuted by the Turkish government in mass terrorist trials.

Ramazan Demir and Ayse Acinikli were on trial with Irfan Arason, Huseyin Bogatekin, Sefik Celik, Adem Calisci, Tamer Dogan, Mustafa Ruzgar, Ayse Gosterislioglu, Sinan Zincir and Raziye Oztuk, who are all members of the Libertarian Lawyers Association (Ozgurlukcu Hukukcular Dernegi – OHD). They were accused of being members of a terrorist organization and propagandizing for it. 

Arrest of 11 lawyers in March 2016
The lawyers were arrested on 16 March 2016 with a great show of force where their homes and offices were searched. They were released some days after their arrest, but Ramazan Demir and Ayse Acinikli were rearrested on 6 April 2016 and since then were held in pre-trial detention.

Human rights advocacy activities in the international arena 
During the hearings the lawyers were questioned about their previous activities, such as the complaints they had filed to the European Court of Human Rights about violations of human rights by the Turkish army during the siege of towns in Eastern Turkey which were predominantly inhabited by Kurds. They also had to answer questions about visits they had made to clients held in detention, interviews they had given to (Western) media, their activities for the TUAD (an association for relatives of prisoners (of conscience)), Twitter messages about cases before the European Court, their defense of Gezi activists, and contact with international colleagues and civil organizations.

This trial fits in a pattern of terrorist trials that the Turkish government is bringing against its citizens- journalists, trade union members, human rights activists, members of parliament, academics and students who are committed to a peaceful solution of the Kurdish question and to freedom of speech.

Lawyers prosecuted because of their work
The fact that lawyers (and judges and public prosecutors) have for years also been subject to persecution has often been ignored. Lawyers are persecuted for their professional activities: they are identified with their clients or their clients' cases. Lawyers should be able to exercise their profession freely and independently, which is essential to uphold the rule of law.

News Turkey

Turkey Deniz Sürgüt released but placed under house arrest

20 Jun 17 On 16 June 2017, the Gümüşhane High Criminal Court decided to release lawyer Deniz Sürgüt, after 22 months of pre-trial detention. He is currently under house arrest. The trial against him was postponed to 7 September 2017. Together with three others, Mr. Sürgüt was arrested on 6 August 2015 in Idil (in the province of […]

Turkey Trial against Deniz Sürgüt

15 Jun 17 Tomorrow, the trial against lawyer Deniz Sürgüt from Turkey will continue at the Gümüşhane High Criminal Court. Members of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights (ELDH) will be present to observe the trial. According to our information, on 6 August 2015, Mr. Sürgüt, together with three others, was arrested in […]

Turkey L4L and FTW observe hearing in KCK-trial in Istanbul

16 Mar 17 On March 9, 2017 there was another hearing in Istanbul  in the long-running case against 46 lawyers  accused of being involved in terrorism. The trial started in November 2011. All the lawyers on trial were at some point involved in the defence of the PKK leader, Abdullah Öcalan. Some of them were held in pre-trial […]

Turkey Sentencing of two lawyers in UAE

14 Dec 16 On 12 December, L4L called on the authorities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to immediately release Vahit Aykut Ergil and Abdulmetin Uraçin, both lawyers from Turkey. We have reason to believe that their conviction might be connected to their legitimate activities as attorney. According to our information, on 27 October 2016, Vahit Aykut Ergil […]

Turkey L4L and FTW monitor hearings in two trials

22 Nov 16 On Tuesday 22 November 2016, the criminal trial of  12 lawyers,  almost all of whom are members of the OHD, the Association of Lawyers for Liberty, continued. All these lawyers are accused  of involvement in terrorist activities. Lawyers from Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) and Fair Trial Watch attended the trial in Istanbul. The President of the […]