Istanbul Bar Association files complaint against Turkish interior minister

The Istanbul Bar Association has filed an official complaint against Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu over his call for policemen to “break the legs” of drug dealers, secularist newspaper Cumhuriyet said.

In the submission, the association asked for an investigation to be opened against Soylu on the grounds of “openly provoking crime”, “instigating torture” and “violating the constitution”, it said.

The maximum penalty for violating the constitution is life imprisonment.

“When we see drug dealers in the vicinity of a school – let them condemn me and criticise me for this as much as they like – it is the duty of the police to break those drug dealers’ legs,” Soylu said at an anti-drugs convention.

“They can blame me for it,” he said.

“The state of emergency does not change this legal situation,” the Bar Association wrote. “Our state is a party to the European Convention on Human Rights as a state with the rule of law belonging to the European Council, and in the constitution it is written that we still have the rule of law.”