Bar Council voices serious concern over violence to Turkish lawyers

14 June 2013

The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, has today voiced serious concern over the use of violence and the subsequent arrest of lawyers by Turkish security forces in Istanbul on Tuesday 11 June.

The lawyers, who were attending a courthouse in Çağlayan to support protestors arrested at Gezi Park, where there have recently been clashes with the authorities, are reported to have been removed with disproportionate use of force and arrested without just cause.

Maura McGowan QC, Chairman of the Bar, said:

"We lend our voice to the wide-spread concern that has been expressed by human rights organisations and lawyers around the world.

"Lawyers have an essential role in a democratic society to ensure that human rights are protected and the Rule of Law is upheld, and these arrests constitute an unjustified attack. To use force in this way seriously undermines the Rule of Law in Turkey.

"We call upon the Turkish Government to investigate the police violence and to implement effective measures to ensure that any disproportionate use of force ceases.

"The Bar Council will not stand by and allow such a contravention to the Rule of Law, and we offer our support to lawyers in Turkey where appropriate."


Notes to Editors

1. For further information, please contact the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 or

2. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes:

The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board.