This year, the 9th Day of the Endangered Lawyer draws attention to the situation in Turkey. The Bar Council has repeatedly raised concerns around the ongoing and large-scale prosecution of judges, lawyers, journalists and human rights defenders in Turkey. 

The two-year state of emergency following the failed coup d'├ętat in July 2016 brought about unprecedented attacks on the judiciary and the legal profession. According to the Arrested Lawyers Initiative, 594 lawyers and legal professionals were arrested following the failed coup and 1546 faced prosecution, often with little to no evidence presented against them. So far, 216 lawyers have been sentenced to 1361 years in prison.  Many of the lawyers currently facing criminal prosecution had merely been exercising their legitimate professional activity as lawyers.

The Bar Council reiterates its call for the Turkish government to uphold the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and legal profession.

Read what we've said over the last couple of years on the situation in Turkey below.

Response to mass arrest of judges in Turkey - 18 July 2016

First letter to UK Prime Minister Theresa May - 27 January 2017

Letter to Turkish authorities on Lawyers Day - 4 April 2018

Second letter to UK Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of her meeting with Turkish President Erdogan  - 16 May 2018

Blog: Bar Council's list of countries to watch - Alex Haines - 10 December 2018