Istanbul Bar Association hosted the Enlarged Meeting of the Presidents of Marmara and Aegean Bar Associations in Istanbul on Saturday, January 28, 2017.
In his opening address, President of Istanbul Bar Association Atty. Mehmet Durakoğlu rendered information about the agenda of the meeting.
The meeting was attended by the President of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (UTBA) Atty. Prof. Metin Feyzioğlu, 14 bar presidents and representatives of 2 bar associations. Vice-President of Istanbul Bar Association Atty. Necmi Şimşek, Secretary-General Atty. Cengiz Yaka, Treasurer Atty. Aydeniz Alisbah Tuskan and Board Members Atty. Şahin Erol and Atty. Hasan Kılıç.
A final declaration came out as a result of the meeting.
We, as the Bar Presidents who have attended the Enlarged Meeting of Marmara and Aegean Bar Presidents, publicly announce our opinions concerning the constitutional amendment package.
Under the pretense of constitutional amendment, our country is being dragged into a one-man rule with the name PRESIDENT, who holds all the powers of a ruler. This is what is offered to our people in a referandum under the title of adorned constitution package.
This constitutional amendment, which is attempted to be made without taking the opinion of any of the constitutional institutions including the bar associations and “opinion of our people” did not flourish upon the demand of our people. Constitutions shall be the texts of compromise and consensus. However, this constitutional amendment, even in the stage of bill, has started to separate and divide, let alone unite, the society.
As bar associations, whose authority is based on the Constitution and whose duty is to defend human rights, we are aware that this constitutional amendment package does not offer any solution to the primary problems of our people while it would also abolish the parliamantary democracy as it introduces unity of powers.
With the annulment of the separation of powers, “freedom” would be vanished, “constitution” would be vanished.
Constitution is out of the question within a society where the rights are not guaranteed and there is no separation of powers.
With the decision issued by the constitutional court that is “not to monitor the statutory decrees”, state of emergency has been converted into a totally arbitrary management of statutory decrees. We are well aware that it is not possible to make a legitimate and democratic charter debate while this situation prevails.
It is something favourable to grant the right to stand for election to the youth at the age of 18. However, it is clear that the youth would not be positioned in the parliament with the new regulation as their current representation in the Assembly can be counted on the fingers of one hand although the Contitution, as it stands, grants the young people at the age of 25 with the right to be elected.
What is aimed is;
- A change in regime, not a constitutional amendment, for democratization.
- An attempt to surrender our country and its people’s rights and freedoms to one person. Even if this one person would be the most democratic person in the world, it is explicit that s/he will be transformed into a dictator with such an authority and irresponsibility.
- It is an attempt to abolish the parliamentary democratic system.
- It is an attack towards the founding values of the Republic.
- It destroys the separation of powers.
- It collects not only executive power, but also legislative and judicial powers in one hand.
This constitutional amendment would annul our national unity, which would lead to emotional and actual division. We would face the danger that our country would be divided into states.
We do not remain silent to this amendment bill which would lead the way to surrender our country and nation to the will and mercy of one person.
This is not an issue of one person or one political party. This is standing by neither the ruling party, nor the opposition party. This is all about standing by the future of our country and our children. This country is ours.
Atty. GÖKHAN BOZKURT
PRESIDENT OF AYDIN BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. HAKAN CANDURAN
PRESIDENT OF ANKARA BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. POLAT BALKAN
PRESIDENT OF ANTALYA BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. EROL KAYABAY
PRESIDENT OF BALIKESIR BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. HASAN ŞAHİN
PRESIDENT OF BILECIK BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. GÜRKAN ALTUN
PRESIDENT OF BURSA BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. BÜLENT ŞARLAN
PRESIDENT OF ÇANAKKALE BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. MÜJDAT İLHAN
PRESIDENT OF DENIZLI BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. KAAN POLAT
PRESIDENT OF EDIRNE BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. MEHMET DURAKOĞLU
PRESIDENT OF ISTANBUL BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. AYDIN ÖZCAN
PRESIDENT OF IZMIR BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. TURGAY HINIZ
PRESIDENT OF KIRKLARELI BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. SERTİF GÖKÇE
PRESIDENT OF KOCAELI BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. ALİ ARSLAN
PRESIDENT OF MANISA BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. CUMHUR UZUN
PRESIDENT OF MUGLA BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. ZAFER KAZAN
PRESIDENT OF SAKARYA BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. ERHAN SEZER
PRESIDENT OF TEKIRDAG BAR ASSOCIATION
Atty. HAKAN GERGEROĞLU
PRESIDENT OF YALOVA BAR ASSOCIATION