Police fire tear gas into lawyer protest against new regulations

Turkish authorities used tear gas against the Turkish lawyers in front of a courthouse in Ankara and detained a journalist while covering the clashes, Bianet reported on Friday.

Ankara's governor had banned all rallies and mass meetings for 15 days in a bid to stop the spread of the pandemic. The police sought to disperse the lawyers with tear gas, citing the ban.

Artı TV Ankara representative and reporter Sibel Hürtaş was detained by police but was later released in the evening after staying in custody for hours.

"I'm being detained at Kavaklıdere Police Station," Hürtaş said on Twitter while posting video footage of the demonstration.

The police also fined lawyers participating in the demonstration for not abiding by social distancing rules. Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Thursday cited Ankara among the cities - including Gaziantep, Bursa and Konya - where there is a rise in the new infections.

Representatives of 80 bar associations around Turkey had gathered in Ankara to protest the new laws regulating lawyers associations and the means of their representation. The lawyers have argued that the new amendments aim to break the bipartisan formation of the associations and domesticate them. Lawyers have been isolated from the talks on the new amendments, and currently attempt to be one of the parties in the negotiations at the parliament to shape the new law.

Lawyers associations in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir have been outspoken critics of the Turkish government in many issues.

Lawyers continue their protests in Ankara on Friday night.

http://bianet.org/english/print/226869-bar-associations-bill-police-use-pepper-spray-against-lawyers-at-ankara-courthouse

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