Chairman says bar has always had national stance in response to Erdoğan

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Metin Feyzioğlu

Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) Chairman Metin Feyzioğlu has said he was“astounded” by the remarks of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who questioned the TBB’s national stance, saying the associations have always acted in consideration of national interests.

Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Erdoğan ordered the removal of the word “Turkish” from the name of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), as well as the TBB, which is known for its critical position on the government.

The TTB has been targeted by the government over a critical statement on the Turkish military’s ongoing operation in the Afrin region of northwest Syria.

“The word ‘Turkish’ in its name must be quickly removed,” Erdoğan told journalists following a speech at his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) group meeting in Parliament.

Responding to Erdoğan in a speech at the TBB building in Ankara, Feyzioğlu said: “We don’t know whether he [the president] is making these statements as a party leader or a president. Yet, we are making an open call to him. Stop looking at Turkey throughthe lens of your political party. Wear your national glasses in accordance with the oath to the Constitution you took.”

Feyzioğlu said the TBB has a special place in the heart of the Turkish nation and that its discourse, warnings and stance have always been national.

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