Prevented from holding a march from Diyarbakır Bar Association to the Four-Legged Minaret, where former Diyarbakır Bar Chair Tahir Elçi was assassinated, lawyers have staged a sit-in protest in front of Diyarbakır Bar.

Lawyers gathered in front of Diyarbakır Bar Association yesterday (June 30) and attempted to march to the Four-Legged Minaret in Sur district in protest of the bill that will enable the establishment of more than one bar association in a city with over 5,000 registered lawyers.

However, the police did not allow the lawyers to hold the march. They sat-in in front of the bar in protest of the police intervention.

Addressing the crowd there, Diyarbakır Bar Association Chair Cihan Aydın said that there was an attempt to leave lawyers unorganized.

As reported by Mezopotamya Agency (MA), Aydın denounced the bill submitted to the Parliamentary Speaker's Office despite the objections of all 80 bar associations across Turkey. Aydın briefly stated the following:

'They want to palm it off as justice in representation'

"Bar associations are the first institutions to be appealed by the lawyers who are subjected to violence and insults and prevented from practicing their profession in law enforcement agencies, prisons, sites of view and attachment and even courtrooms.

"With this very legal amendment, they aim to separate and polarize lawyers and leave them unorganized by enumerating the bars as 1, 2, 3.

"With the amendment foreseen for the Attorneys' Act, they want to prevent bars from struggling against feminicides, child abuse, torture and maltreatment, destruction of natural and cultural heritage, arrest of elected mayors based on fabricated evidence and appointment of trustees.

"Those who do not recognize the people's will are trying to palm off this project of disabling bars as justice in representation.

'We will not accept pro-government bars'

"This is a struggle for honor for all lawyers. Even if this law is passed, we will not take a step back from this struggle at any costs. We will keep on standing in solidarity with our colleagues. We will keep on struggling for the individual and collective rights of all citizens.

"We stood up against the coup on September 12 and the attempted coup on July 15 as well, we respected people's will under any circumstances.

"Similarly, we stood up against this prohibitive mindset when young women were not allowed to enter universities or not accepted into public service because they wore headscarves. We have laid claim to freedom of belief and freedom of expression under all circumstances.

"Those who do not know it or those who know, but still distort it should look at the history of Diyarbakır Bar Association. Because we approach fundamental rights and freedoms not based on the conjuncture, but as a humane, legal and moral responsibility that needs to be defended under any circumstances. We will never accept pro-government bars that have drifted away from their primary goals."