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İstanbul Bar Association warns of looming ‘dystopia’ over detention of 60 lawyers

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The İstanbul Bar Association on Monday denounced the detention of 60 lawyers by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, saying that the lawyers cannot be charged with practicing law.

“The charge of membership in a terrorist organization stems from the [lawyers’] practice of their profession,” said a statement issued by the bar. “This situation is new, with the exception of one or two cases, and tells of a dystopia under construction.”

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday issued detention warrants for 60 lawyers on terror charges.

According to a statement released by the office, the lawyers followed up on “cases of Gülen-affiliated defendants” and “tried to manipulate the trials to the benefit of the terrorist organization under the guise of the practice of law.”

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016 and designates it as a terrorist organization.

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