On 22 January 2020, 12 bar associations in Turkey published a joint statement regarding the Gezi Case. Below is the translation of the original statement:
If there is no defense, there is no fair trial!
Gezi; which is one of the most important political, social and democratic objection movements of our recent history, continues to be tried in Istanbul 30th High Criminal Court and the case is followed by us closely.
Our hopes that a “fair trial” will be carried out are fading, in the ongoing case that is based on an indictment prepared by “revaluation” of the FETO’ist (Fettullahist Terrorist Organisation) security forces, judges and prosecutors.
Previously, the principle of natural judge had been abandoned by hastily changing the panel of judges and the right to a fair trial was violated repeatedly by the practices of the changed panel.
This time, the panel went beyond the purpose of the provisions of the law and applied a unique practice and heard a witness; whose sanity is debated (as declared to the public by himself), while evading the defense attorneys (in absence of defense attorneys).
The Panel's hearing by approval of Murat Pabuç’s claim that “he does not have life safety, despite the fact that two other witnesses have been heard in a high-security facility such as Silivri, is the clearest evidence that defense attorneys are seemed as one of the factors that may “threat the life safety”.
This incomprehensible behavior of the Panel means the intent of criminalization of the defense, exclusion of the defense from the trial and the elimination of the role of the defense attorneys in the judicial process. This is a direct attack to the defense.
The weakening of the attorneys in the judicial process, causing their failure to fulfill their duties; especially associating them with crime, damages public justice and violates the right to a fair trial.
This consequence, destroys the trust of the citizens in justice and gradually makes the legitimacy of the court decisions controversial.
The unlimited reoccurrence -in the Gezi Trial of the multi-faceted discrediting, devaluation and efforts of making the defense attorneys ineffective that have been going on for a long time against defense attorneys that perform their duty of defense, makes it necessary to reevaluate.
Criminalizing the attorneys; who are the biggest assurance of the right to a fair trial of the accused, against the desire to convict almost every form of opposition by associating it with crime and preventing the attorneys from duly performing of their duties’, is also completely in a breach of “the equality of arms principle”.
However, fair trial is the right of everyone.
Tomorrow it will continue to be the right of everyone like today.
Against the occurrence of these practices in Gezi Trial, we, the Bar Associations whose signatures follow below, emphasize that the right to a fair trial can only be fulfilled by independent courts as a result of effective usage of the defense right.
Otherwise; an arbitrary jurisdiction that it’s result is obvious beforehand and grounded on evidences provided by witnesses who have been heard hidden from defense attorneys, will never be fair. Defense cannot be associated with crime or identified with crime. Because if there is no defense, there is no justice.
As the bar associations, as of the hearing will be held on January 28, 2020, we will carefully monitor the results of the trial, concerning the defense right. The expression on every platform of the violation of our rights guaranteed by national and international conventions is vital. We present the trial to the attention and interest of the public and especially our colleagues.
Adana Bar Association
Ankara Bar Association
Antalya Bar Association
Aydın Bar Associationı
Bursa Bar Association
Diyarbakır Bar Association
İstanbul Bar Association
İzmir Bar Association
Mersin Bar Association
Tunceli Bar Association
Urfa Bar Association
Van Bar Association