Ruling AKP submits bill to overhaul structure of bar associations

Ruling AKP submits bill to overhaul structure of bar associations

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Turkey’s ruling party has submitted a bill to regulate the country’s bar associations, a senior official said on June 30.

“For the bars that have more than 5,000 members, we are bringing a regulation that at least 2,000 lawyers can form the second, the third or the fourth bar by coming together,” Cahit Özkan, deputy group chair of the AKP, told reporters in the parliament.

Each bar association in the provinces will be represented by three delegates and a president in the General Assembly of Union of Turkish Bar Associations, Özkan noted.

“Before bringing the regulation, we went through rigorous study,” he said.

According to the bill, the lawyers will pay half of the bar fee in the first five years of their careers.

In the first week of September, elections for bar associations will be held and those for the General Assembly of the Union of Turkish Bar associations will be held in December.

The elections will be held every two years for the bars and every four years for the union.

On June 20, bar leaders marched toward capital Ankara to protest the proposed legal changes.

The police that blocked them from entering Ankara said the marchers did not have a permit and were violating social distancing rules.

Later, the marchers were allowed to visit Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of the country’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

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