Around 2,000 lawyers have come together to form a new, second bar association in Istanbul and will submit their application to the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB), according to reports Monday.
The lawyers announced the founding principles of their bar in a meeting held later in the day.
Addressing journalists in a news conference, the founding members of the bar hailed the new law for “liberating” bars in Turkey.
“Bars have a great responsibility to ensure judgment, defense and justice,” lawyer Necati Ceylan said, adding that a number of lawyers’ platforms have come together to form the second bar in Istanbul.
Another bar is also expected to be formed in Ankara next week, the Turkish language daily, Yeni Şafak, reported.
The new bar associations are planning to start their work before the upcoming bar elections.
The Turkish Parliament passed a new law in July with a series of reforms for bar associations.
According to the new law, there will no longer be one bar association for each province. The associations will still be administrated, however, by one body, the TBB.
The government has said the law would create a "more democratic and pluralistic" system. The new law mainly affects metropoles like Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara, due to their large number of lawyers. For instance, in Istanbul, there could be five different bar associations at the same time.
The lawyers will be able to choose any one of the bars in a province if there is more than one bar association.
If the number of lawyers falls below 2,000 for an association, the TBB will demand the association incorporate the minimum number of lawyers within six months. If the number is not provided, the TBB will end the association’s legal entity and publish this decision on its official website. Within 15 days of the TBB announcement, lawyers and interns registered with the said association will have to register with another association in the province and they will continue to work with the latter.
The liquidation procedures of the association will be managed by its last administrative board, under the control of the TBB, while the union will receive the remaining assets of the association.