Murat Karayilan: We are making preparations, the other side should do likewise!

Transcript of an interview with Nuçe TV.

NEWS CENTER 28/03/2013

KCK Executive Council President Murat Karayilan and member of the Executive Council Presidency Ronahi Serhat, have made ​​important statements about withdrawing from the Turkish territory. Karayilan, pointing out the important responsibility on the Turkish Assembly, said “To ensure continuity of this process, it needs to be developed mutually. We are preparing for withdrawal, but the other side also needs to start preparations. To facilitate this process, our leader’s conditions of imprisonment need to be improved.” Ronahi Serhat stated that the channels for dialogue with the architect of the peace process need to be opened.

KCK Executive Council President Murat Karayilan and member of the Executive Council Presidency Ronahi Serhat, answered the questions directed by the journalists Koray Düzgören, Erdal Er and Khaled Hermit from Nuçe TV.

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‘Kurdish language allowed in court’: Margaret Owen reports from the fourth hearing of the lawyers trial

Below is a report written by Margaret Owen OBE, who last week acted as an international observer at the fourth hearing of a trial of 46 lawyers, being prosecuted as part of the KCK anti-terror trials. Ms Owen, a human rights barrister and a member of the Bar Human Rights Committee, was also joined by Ali Has, solicitor-advocate and member of the Law Society’s international human rights team; Melanie Gingell, barrister and representative of the Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC); and lawyer Tony Fisher, a member of Law Society’s Human Rights Committee.

Further reports from the other delegates will follow in due course.

Kurdish language allowed in Court…

March 28th Thursday at last! The Kurdish language can be spoken in a Turkish court. Just 4 bailed. 22 remain in prison. Not much change.

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Meetings with Turkish Lawyers in Istanbul – Report by Richard Harvey

Chair of Garden Court International and member of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Richard Harvey, recently met with lawyers in Turkey to discuss the arrest and imprisonment of dozens of Kurdish and Turkish lawyers on terrorism charges. He has kindly given us permission to reproduce his report into these meetings here.

Further addenda to his report can be downloaded here.

REPORT OF MEETINGS WITH TURKISH LAWYERS

ISTANBUL 24-25 FEBRUARY 2013

BY RICHARD HARVEY[1]

Garden Court Chambers
57-60 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London WC2A 3LJ

INTRODUCTION

  1. Having read many recent reports of mass arrests of lawyers, trade union leaders and other human rights defenders in Turkey, I arranged to meet with a number of lawyers during my recent visit to Istanbul.  I am particularly grateful for the assistance of Mr. Thomas Schmidt, Secretary General of ELDH,[2] to Ms. Adrie van de Streek, Managing Director of L4L,[3] and to Ms. Ayse Bingol for arranging these meetings.
  2. The history of the Turkish government’s targeting of criminal defence lawyers has been well documented by ELDH, L4L, IADL, Haldane and others.  My purpose was to learn about the most recent developments following the mass arrests of 85 human rights defenders, including 15 lawyers, on 18 January 2013.
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Lawyers on Trial in Turkey, meeting report

Lawyers on Trial in Turkey: Implications for Establishing Peace and Justice

Report of the public meeting held in Parliament by David Morgan, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

4 March 2013

In Turkey today lawyers are being locked up simply for doing their job of representing their clients. The abuse of legality has gone so far that lawyers seeking to represent imprisoned lawyers are themselves being prosecuted. At present more than 50 lawyers in Turkey are in jail, of whom the majority are former members of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan’s legal team.

These and other deeply worrying facts were discussed at a briefing meeting, hosted by Lord Kennedy and chaired by solicitor advocate Ali Has, which was held in the Wilson Room, Portcullis House, Westminster, on 28 February.

The meeting was organised by Peace in Kurdistan supported by Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers the European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH) and CAMPACC and it was addressed by a distinguished panel of human rights lawyers including Michael Mansfield QC, Professor Bill Bowring and Margaret Owen OBE.

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President of the Law Society writes to Erdogan

The President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, has written an open letter to PM Erdogan, with her concerns about the repeated violation of human rights suffered by lawyers in Turkey over the last year.

You can download a copy of the letter here (pdf)

 

 

 

 

 

Event: Lawyers on Trial in Turkey – Implications for Establishing Peace and Justice

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign supported by the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH) and CAMPACC

Public Meeting

“Lawyers on Trial in Turkey: Implications for Establishing Peace and Justice”

Thursday, 28 February, 6.30-8pm

Wilson Room, Portcullis House, Westminster, SW1

IMPORTANT Please try and arrive at 6pm to make sure you leave enough time to get through security

Hosted by Siobhain McDonagh MP

Speakers: Michael Mansfield QC, President of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Prof Bill Bowring, President of the European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH)

Melanie Gingell, barrister Tooks Chambers and member of the Bar Human Rights Committee: observed hearings in Turkey on 6 November 2012 and 3 January 2013

Margaret Owen OBE, barrister and member of the Bar Human Rights Committee: observed hearings in Turkey on 16 July 2012 and 6 November 2012

Chaired by Ali Has, Solicitor Advocate

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BHRC reports from KCK trial of lawyers in Turkey

As an international observer for the Bar Human Rights Committee, barrister Melanie Gingell travelled to Istanbul to witness the latest hearing in the ongoing case against 46 lawyers, most of them Kurdish, who were arrested as part of the KCK investigations that have seen over 8000 people arrested on terror charges.

The BHRC have made the report available to download on their website.

Tony Fisher, member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society, also observed the same hearing on 3 January. You can also read his report here.

 

Set journalists free in Turkey: EFJ campaign update

Below is the latest update from the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) international campaign to set free all journalists in Turkey.

30 Jan 2013 – RSF’s World Press Freedom Index 2013 : Turkey ranks 154th ! (full report in PDF)

30 Jan 2013 – RSF : Dashed hopes after spring

28 Jan 2013 – Turkey our neighbour, Robert Ellis / New Europe

28 Jan 2013 – Turkey: the worst jailer of journalists, Marjorie Hache / RFI (radio)

Time for justice and a roadmap towards reconciliation

EVENT

20 February 2013, The Law Society, London

Background


In the early 1990’s the Turkish authorities were responsible for the wholesale destruction of over 3,000 villages in South
East Turkey, together with many other human rights violations against a Kurdish minority of some 20 million people.
Nearly 20 years later, and despite numerous judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), very few of the
perpetrators have been brought to justice. Much international criticism is also still focused on Turkey’s failure to address
the need to respect the cultural and language rights of the Kurdish people, and the “Kurdish Problem” remains one of the
greatest challenges faced by Turkey in its efforts to become an effective modern democracy with appropriate respect for
human rights, due process, and the rule of law. Continue reading

CHD press release on mass arrests of lawyers

Yesterday, the Istanbul court decided that 9 lawyers, among them CHD President Selcuk Kozagacli and Chair of Istanbul Branch Taylan Tanay should be taken to prison.

They were initially arrested last week in police raids targeting the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). You can read our statement on these arrests, as well as a press release below by the Progressive Lawyers Association (CHD).

The lawyers giving a final speech to the crowd before being taken into prison

The lawyers giving a final speech to the crowd before being taken into prison

PRESS RELEASE OF PROGRESSIVE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (ÇHD)

Arrest warrants were issued on January, 18 2013 against 16 lawyers on the claimed suspicion of them being members of an illegal organization and despite the lack of a suspicion that they would escape.

Today we are expecting that our colleagues who have been under police custody for the last 3 days be brought to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Under Turkish law and according to the Legal Practitioners Act and the Criminal Procedure Act;

Our colleagues had to be directly brought to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Court House to give their defense statements without being taken under police custody.

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