Erdoğan: Gov’t to proceed with plans to amend bar association law despite lawyers’ protest march

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said deputies from his ruling party are planning to submit to parliament on Tuesday a controversial bill amending the law on lawyers and altering bar associations’ election mechanisms, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Speaking during a press briefing after a cabinet meeting at his palace, Erdoğan claimed he and his party are trying to bring solutions to the country’s chronic problems and that, despite being open to constructive criticism, they were met with categorical rejection and hostility.

Erdoğan said they would not stand idly by while certain interest groups block the country’s progress.

“We are determined to build a bar association system that is more democratic, more pluralistic and more representative,” Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) recently announced plans to introduce changes to the bar association system to reduce the influence of the İstanbul and Ankara bar associations in favor of smaller cities, which are considered to be more government-friendly.

In reaction, senior lawyers from across the country launched a protest march towards the capital of Ankara, which was temporarily blocked by police last week.

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