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14 lawyers arrested on terror charges

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A total of 14 lawyers have been arrested on charges of alleged links to the Far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), Turkish media reported on Thursday.

According to the reports, 16 lawyers were detained as part of an investigation launched by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office into the DHKP/C.

While 14 lawyers were arrested on charges of membership in an armed terrorist organization and founding and leading an armed terrorist organization, two were released on judicial probation.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Barış Yarkadaş protested the arrest decision in a tweet: “14 lawyers were arrested. About 140 files were left behind. And around 100 people in jail are left without lawyers.”

The lawyers, who were defending the jailed hunger striker teachers Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, were detained just days before the teachers’ trial began.

Gülmen and Özakça, who were arrested in May on terror charges, have been on a hunger strike for 197 days to protest their dismissal by a statutory decree.

The Turkish government started a crackdown on the opposition in the wake of a botched coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and arrested more than 50,000 and dismissed or suspended around 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants.

A total of 524 lawyers have been arrested and 1342 are under prosecution since the coup attempt.

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