806 lawyers from Turkey, Greece, the United States, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, Japan, Catalonia, the UK, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Nepal, Poland and Tunisia, including many IADL affiliates, joined in a collective call for a “world without wars and border repression” in a statement released on 9 March 2019. The joint statement was joined by Bar Associations across Turkey, including those of Adana, Antalya, Bursa, Diyarbakir, Antep, Izmir, Mardin, Mersin, Urfa and Van.
The statement urged Turkey and other states to withdraw from Syria immediately and abandon policies of war, noting that “the use of refugee lives as bargaining chips should be ended immediately and their life safety should be ensured as soon as possible.” It was sparked by both the Turkish invasion of Syria and the ongoing human rights violations and violations of international law at the Turkey-Greece border denying the rights of refugees.
IADL also issued a statement on the ongoing violations by the European Union and the Turkish and Greek governments.
The collective lawyers’ statement is as follows (in English, Turkish below):
‘End war and border policies immediately’
“What is happening at Turkey-Greece border today is trampling upon international law and fundamental human rights.
“Refugees from different communities of the world who had to abandon their lands due to the wars of power holders are now struggling for their lives between two coasts of the Aegean Sea.
“War and border policies should be ended immediately, the use of refugees as elements of blackmail for these policies and physical attacks that aim to kill refugees should be abandoned to eliminate this situation.
“For these reasons, we – the undersigned lawyers – are calling on everyone to stand up against the war and border policies of states in the face of these developments and demand the following:
“Turkey and other states should withdraw from Syria as soon as possible and abandon their war policies.
“End the use of refugee lives as bargaining chips immediately and ensure the life safety of refugees as soon as possible.”
“Acilen savas ve sinir politikalarina son verilmeli”
“Bugün, Türkiye ve Yunanistan sinirlarinda yasananlarla uluslararasi hukuk ve temel insan haklari ayaklar altina alinmaktadir.
“Egemenlerin paylasim savaslari sonucu yasadiklari topraklari terk etmek zorunda kalan dünyanin çesitli halklarindan mülteciler, bugün, Ege’nin iki yakasi arasinda yasam mücadelesi vermektedir.
“Bu tablonun ortadan kalkmasi için acilen savas ve sinir politikalarina son verilmeli, bu politikalar için mültecilerin santaj unsuru olarak kullanilmasindan, mültecilere yönelik fiziksel ve öldürmeye dönük saldirilardan vazgeçilmelidir.
“Bu nedenlerle bizler, asagida imzasi bulunan avukatlar olarak, yasanan gelismeler karsisinda, herkesi, devletlerin savas ve sinir politikalarina karsi olmaya çagiriyor ve sunlari talep ediyoruz:
“Türkiye ve diger devletler, Suriye’den bir an önce çekilsin; savas politikalarindan vazgeçilsin.
“Mültecilerin yasaminin pazarlik araci olarak kullanilmasina derhal son verilsin ve mültecilerin yasam güvenligi bir an önce saglansin.”