Turkey’s İstanbul,Ankara, İzmir bar associations elect new presidents

Turkey’s Istanbul,Ankara and İzmir bar associations on Sunday elected their new chairpersons for the next two years, independent news site T24 reported.

Mehmet Durakoğlu, who has been president of the Istanbul Bar Association since 2016, won over nine candidates running to replace him, receiving over 30 percent of the votes in İstanbul and was re-elected head of the İstanbul Bar Association, the site said.

Erinç Sağkan representing the Democratic Left Lawyers Group was elected president of the Ankara Bar Association.

Özkan Yücel garnered the largest number of votes in the Western province of İzmir and will be leading the İzmir Bar Association, T24 reported.

The elections arrive as the independence of Turkey’s judiciary is being increasingly called into question with several hundred lawyers behind bars following a crackdown after the July 2016 coup attempt.

A total of 580 lawyers have been detained while 103 given long-term sentences in Turkey since the failed putsch.