New Report Examining the Treatment of Lawyers Deprived of their Liberty and Prosecuted in Turkey

Independent Fact-finding Mission and Trial Observation to Turkey 

Between 6-10 November 2023, the Legal Centre Lesvos joined an international delegation representing 27 law societies, bar associations, human rights groups and legal groups in a week-long fact-finding mission in Istanbul, Turkey. The aim of the mission was to meet and interview eight lawyers, political prisoners, accused by the Erdogan’s regime of being “part of a terrorist organisation”, all of which are members of the Turkish lawyers’ organisation ÇHD (Progressive Lawyers of Turkey) and held in Tekirday Prison, Kandira Prison and Marmara Prison (in Silivri). The delegation also observed two court hearings. The first one on 6 November 2023,  in the case of eight lawyers, members of the Lawyers for Freedom of Association (ÖHD) and of ÇHD, who are accused of participation in a terrorist organisation. The second hearing on 9 November 2023 was a review hearing at Caglayan court for the pre-trial detention of Gülhan Kaya, a prominent human rights lawyer, who was released after being detained for six months. 

The fact-finding mission concludes that the lawyers detained and prosecuted were subjected to various violations of their human rights, including arbitrary arrest and detention, non respect of fair trail principles, submission to inhuman and degrading treatment and torture. Indeed, the conditions in which they are detained violate internationally accepted standards for prisons, including the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Their detention continues to be arbitrary and are prolonged with little justification or explanation, based on charges with national security offences while they  face long sentences and very restrictive measures in prison. 

As part of the international delegation, we call on the Turkish government to end all acts of intimidation and harassment of lawyers and respect the independence of the legal profession, in accordance with international law, including the U.N. Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers. As part of our work, we will continue to monitor the situation of lawyers in Turkey and support those at risk there, in particular the rights of migrants.

You can find the full report here:


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