Turkey is facing one of the most severe periods of repression against civil society in living memory.
Human Rights defenders are being systematically targetted by the state.
Since November 2016, 370 civil society organisations have been banned, including CHD (Progressive Lawyers Association) which is a member of our organisation, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.
As part of this persecution, many prosecutions are being brought against lawyers of CHD by the Turkish state.
Trial of Human Rights Defender Barkin Timtik
On 16 February 2017, Human Rights Lawyer Barkin Timtik will be facing trial in Istanbul.
She is a Turkish lawyer who has been fighting for justice and human rights for the last 10 years.
‘ Who is Barkin Timtik? She is the lawyer of 301 workers who were killed in Soma, of the oppressed and exploited Kurdish people, of the oppressed Alevi people due to their beliefs, of the young people who were killed by drug gangs in poor neighborhoods, of Dilek Doğan who was killed by Special Forces in front of her mother’s eyes, of Berkin Elvan, who is the symbol of June Uprising in 2013, of the villagers, the socialists and the intellectuals who are targeted by the government. In short, she is the lawyer of the people.’ (CHD Press Statement, February 2017)
She has been falsely accused of being part of an illegal organisation due to her work representing people charged with the same allegations.
The following account describes the inhumane treatment Barkin Timtik received upon her arrest and detention:
‘She was punched, was dragged by her hair and was put on armored vehicles and taken into custody. At the Kirac detention center, all the detainees, including Barkin Timtik, were put on top of each other, and were shot with plastic bullets. Lawyer Barkin Timtik continued to be tortured at the police station for five days and she wasn’t allowed to see her lawyer. The main reason for this torture was to intimidate lawyers who are fighting for fundamental rights and freedoms of people.’
Considering the political context in Turkey, there are serious concerns Barkin Timtik will not receive a fair trial.
At this point, it is absolutely vital that the international community make its presence felt at the trial in solidarity with Barkin Timtik and all Turkish human rights defenders.
IADL Delegation to Turkey
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers will be sending a delegation of lawyers to observe the trial proceedings in order to:
1. Show practical solidarity by demonstrating to the Turkish authorities that the international community is watching
2. Make sure that any breaches and irregularities are identified and highlighted
3. Raise awareness of the trial and the plight of human rights defenders through articles, social media and live streaming of meetings and conferences taking place during the weekend.
Help Us Make This Act of Solidarity A Success
Unity is strength.
Your donation will allow the delegation to be effective by ensuring as large a group of lawyers as possible attend to show solidarity to Barkin Timtik and her colleagues.
Your donation will go towards the cost of flights for our volunteer lawyers to attend the trial.
All money left over will be used in our ongoing solidarity campaign with turkish human rights lawyers.
Repression in Turkey is increasing and we must increase our international resistance to it!