The state of the rule of law in Turkey is compromised and those who defend it appear to be at risk themselves. This particularly concerns lawyers or judges who carry out their work independently in line with their professional duties.
Lawyers and human rights defenders are subject to prosecution and arrests under vaguely defined anti-terrorism offences, offences of incitement to hatred, insult to the president or to the Nation and/or attempt to overthrow the State or government. This is often directly linked to carrying out their human rights work, defending clients or criticizing the current state of the rule of law in the country.
At the same time, the judiciary has been stripped of guarantees of independence to be able to withstand arbitrary interference with their functions. On the contrary, the Council of Judges and Prosecutors appears to have become an instrument for the control of individual judges. Judges trying to uphold the rule of law or acting independently face negative consequences such as disciplinary proceedings or even criminal charges.
The International Commission of Jurists, the Amsterdam Bar Association, Lawyers for Lawyers and Judges for Judges are trying to raise awareness of the representatives of the legal profession in the Netherlands about the state of affairs with their Turkish colleagues. At the event lawyers and judges from Turkey and the Netherlands will have an opportunity to hear about the recent legal developments about the situation with lawyers and judges in Turkey and individual cases where they face improper interference with their work.