Vice-President of Istanbul Bar Association Atty. Nazan Moroğlu sent a letter concerning the amendments on the Turkish Attorneys’ Code regarding the multiple bar system and the changes in the election systems of the bar associations in Turkey to the the President of the International Association of Lawyers (UIA) Jerome Roth. In her letter dated 24 June 2020, Moroğlu explained that aiming segmenting, destroying, silencing and capturing the bar associations, this amendment will introduce the multiple bar system and it targets changing the perception that bar associations display in terms of protecting the rule of law in their struggle for human rights. Underlining that the bill is opposed by the absolute will of 80 bar associations in Turkey, Moroğlu detailed on the struggle given by the bar associations.
In the letter of reply dated 11 August, 2020, General Director of the UIA Institute for the Rule of Law (UIA-IROL) Jacqueline R. Scott expressed their grave concern as they have been following the recent developments regarding the new legislation aimed at “reforming” the structure and election systems of bar associations in Turkey without meaningful participation by representatives of the legal profession.
“We are especially troubled that this reform will have a lasting impact on the strength of the three main bar associations in Turkey, namely the Bar Associations of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, and that the legislation will reduce their capacity to uphold the Rule of Law and participate in the defense of human rights, as they historically have done,” wrote Scott in her letter. Scott underlined that UIA is in solidarity with all bar associations and members of the legal profession in Turkey, who, despite onerous circumstances, have worked courageously to defend their independence, the rule of law, human rights and the core values of the legal profession.