Translated from Turkish by Translators for Justice
“Discourses serving as a complete violation of immunity of residence and the right to privacy, both pertaining to constitutional rights of citizens, will lead to arbitrariness, a police state and polarization, not democracy and freedom”
Discourses of political authorities regarding residences occupied by university students is the second stage of the “witch hunt” initiated at the aftermath of the Gezi protests.
Such discourses serving as a complete violation of immunity of residence and the right to privacy, both pertaining to constitutional rights of citizens, will lead to vice squads and religious law enforcement forces under the arbitrary command of the government, not democracy and freedom.
Those having been beaten on streets by gangs armed with cudgels, right after the statement of the PM saying, “I have a hard time keeping 50% of the population in their homes,” shall be kept in mind not to repeat the same mistakes.
The recent statements might well lead to raids on apartments of youth opposing or having the potential to oppose the government, under the pretext of “terrorist activities or prostitution reports.”
Are citizens, particularly young people, defined as “dissidents” by the government, where they try to stigmatize, harass and even send them back to their hometowns based on neighbor’s claims?
If the scheme is deemed to be successful, will there be further steps towards the institutionalisation of a vice squad to supervise the personal lives and political tendencies of citizens?
Our citizens do not require any religious, moral or virtue lessons from any political party.
Such statements also acting as impediments to discuss real problems can by no means serve social peace.
The Union of Turkish Bar Associations will work through these statements so as to inform society and international organisations; if residences of citizens are subjected to abusive police raids on false grounds, the Association will denounce against those giving such criminal orders and public officers committing crime in carrying out these orders; these official complaints will be pursued at national and international levels.
We demand from related public officers of the political authority to respect everyone’s freedoms; forthwith to ensure the universal rules of democracy and abstain from polarizing and disturbing society.
Lawyer Prof. Dr. Metin Feyzioğlu
President of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations