Turkey amends laws to allow multiple lawyer associations
Turkey's parliament passed controversial legislation amending laws governing attorneys and bar associations, despite protests from critics who say the move could limit the independence of lawyers and reduce the professional associations’'clout.
The new law, submitted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party, was passed after days of heated debate and following scuffles between police and lawyers protesting the legislation.
The government has said the law would create a "more democratic and pluralistic" system. But detractors say the measure aims to lessen the influence of major bar associations that have been outspoken critics of Erdogan's government and have documented rights violations.
The change comes amid widespread criticism of the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in Turkey.