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Human rights organizations call on Turkey to release 2 attorneys from Progressive Lawyers Association


July 8, 2027

Credits @FFHR.CZ

Human rights organizations call on Turkey to release 2 Progressive Lawyers Association attorneys.

A coalition of 38 legal and human rights organizations and bar associations from around the world have issued a statement condemning the detention of lawyers Naim Eminoğlu and Doğa İncesu and calling for their immediate release, the Bianet news website reported on Friday.

Eminoğlu, an executive from the İstanbul branch of the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD), and Doğa İncesu, a member of the same organization, were detained at their homes on the morning of July 2 as part of an ongoing investigation by İstanbul prosecutors.

They were referred to court on Friday for possible arrest on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” following their statements to the prosecutor.

In the joint statement, the organizations criticized the detentions, referring to international law regarding the protection of lawyers.

“International law provides special protections for lawyers due to their vital role in ensuring justice for all. According to the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, lawyers should not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes. Regardless of who their clients are or what they have done, this should not be personally attributed to the lawyer,” the statement read.

“Following the pattern of unjust detentions and convictions of many ÇHD members, Eminoğlu and İncesu are likely in custody due to their work with ÇHD. Both lawyers are active members of the ÇHD Prison Commission, which documents torture and other human rights violations in Turkish prisons, informs the public, and represents the victims of such abuses. They have recently been working on documenting conditions in prisons, which are known for torture and isolation practices and widespread hunger strikes.”

The statement also highlighted that the confiscation of the lawyers’ computers and phones violated “attorney-client confidentiality.”

The ÇHD has reported that they were not provided with any details regarding the investigation into the lawyers. The detainees were not informed of the charges against them and were denied access to their attorneys for 24 hours.

The ÇHD lawyers have in the past taken on politically sensitive cases such as a 2014 mining disaster in Soma that took the lives of 301 miners; the death of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who was hit on the head with a teargas canister fired by a police officer during the June 2013 anti-government Gezi protests; and the death of Engin Çeber in prison in 2008 due to torture.

They were recently also involved in documenting a series of violent attacks on Syrian refugees in Kayseri, where locals targeted their homes, workplaces and vehicles. The unrest quickly spread to other cities. In Gaziantep on the Syrian border, groups chanted nationalist slogans while vandalizing Syrian-owned vehicles and businesses.

Many legal professionals have in recent years been charged with the same crimes as the clients that they represented.

Turkey’s anti-terror laws are often criticized for being overly vague, allowing too much room for interpretation while the judiciary is widely described as being under executive control.

Turkey’s post-coup purges included the mass removal of more than 4,000 judges and prosecutors immediately after a failed coup in 2016 which, according to many international observers, had a chilling effect on the legal professionals who continued to work in the judiciary.

Turkey has also prosecuted more than 1,700 attorneys and arrested 615 of them on terrorism charges since the failed coup, according to a report from the Arrested Lawyers Initiative, an advocacy group defending lawyers’ rights.

The government has also been accused of replacing the purged judicial members with young and inexperienced judges and prosecutors who have close links to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Turkey was ranked 117th among 142 countries in the rule of law index published by the World Justice Project (WJP) in October, in a sign of the deteriorating rule of law in the country.


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