International Association of People's Lawyers

Justice for Soma! – Hands off Lawyers!


May 13 2014 went into history as a bloody day on which according to official numbers 301 coal mine workers were massacred. The fact that the company owners in Soma not having taken adequate safety measure, not implementing the already insufficient legislation, the increase in sub-contracting, the state not fulfilling its duty to inspect the company, leaving 301 workers overtly left to die, meant the massacre of 301 workers.

Instead of investigating the causes of the fire and taking steps to remedy the shortcomings and punishing those responsible for these deaths, the states following this massacre as was in Reyhanlı, Roboski has directed its anger to the people, attacking, beaten and detained those calling this a massacre, being in solidarity with the people of Soma

Whilst reactions from foreign countries are pouring in on the photographs in the press of the Prime Ministers advisor Yusuf Yerkel kicking a relative of a killed miner and the Prime Minister punching a citizen in Soma, the Turkish State has defended these images. In the scope of the investigation of this incident in Soma where according to the official numbers 301 miner were killed, hundreds were injured carried out by the Akhisar Prosecutors’ Office Coordination 26 people were taken in to custody including 8 top executives of the company the owner of the mine Alp Gürkan was not even detained. Instead of this the lawyers who were there to monitor the violation of rights and to ensure that the process in Soma was realized according to the law, were initially besieged by civil fascists and then were taken into custody.

The General Secretary of the Progressive Lawyers Association (PLA) Selçuk Kozağaçlı was also amongst the detained lawyers, he was beaten up by the police, and even his arm was broken when he was detained. Again 36 member lawyers of PLA amongst them, Nergis Tuba Aslan, Dinçer Çalım, Efkan Bolaç, Günay Dağ, Gökhan Erkuş, Fatma Demirer, and Mürsel Ünder were detained. The lawyers who were there to prevent destruction of the evidence in the Soma massacre, to provide free legal assistance to the people especially in punitive cases of those responsible and to defend the rights of the people in the developing demonstrations against the massacre, were beaten and were held in a sports hall for hours without an official detention process.

In Turkey where unlawfulness rules and the right to live of people is disregarded with the news of massacres every day and where the law is interpreted for the benefit of the oppressor legitimizing the oppression, we will continue our struggle alongside the oppressed, with the consciousness of using the law as a different position within the class struggle.

We, as the People’s Lawyers declare that we will not be silent against the usurpation of rights, against massacres and that we will continue our struggle as an integral part of class struggle, and pursue the usurpation of rights in Reyhanlı, Roboski, Gezi and Soma.

International Association of People's Lawyer