Ruling party discusses amendment it seeks in law on attorneys with opposition parties

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The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on June 24 launched consultations with opposition parties in parliament on an amendment proposal on laws regarding lawyers.

The proposal, which is expected to be submitted to parliament by the end of this week, included details about a “multiple bars” system, which envisages the establishment of alternative bars in Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir, which represent nearly half of all lawyers in the country.

Cahit Özkan, a deputy parliamentary group leader for the AKP, told reporters on June 24 that they paid visits to the opposition parties in parliament to “receive all opinions and to unite them at the optimum point with a pluralist and participatory approach.”

Özkan emphasized this proposal is not a final text and they will take the oppositions’ point of view into consideration.
Stating that the study has reached a certain point in a period of one and a half months, Özkan said that many proposals were evaluated and some of these proposals were related to issues from multiple bar associations to relative representation.

“During our visits, there were also issues where other political party groups stated that they had certain objections, issues that could be discussed, and that they could fully support them,” he said.

However, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and İYİ (Good) Party had not given consent for the amendment proposal, daily Milliyet reported on June 25.

Engin Altay, deputy chair of the CHP group, said the AKP’s proposal is “not even negotiable.”

“They want to dominate the Turkey Bar Association,” he said, speaking at a press conference on June 25.

The AKP’s proposal briefly allows any bar to be established if there is at least 10 percent of the total number of lawyers in the province, but not fewer than 30 lawyers in the province. Or, in a province with at most 2,000 lawyers, a bar can be established with 10 percent, that is at least 200 lawyers. Thirdly, in the provinces where there are more than 5,000 lawyers, 2,000 lawyers can launch bar associations, according to the CHP official.

Hurriyet Daily News

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