Dozens of Bar Associations file lawsuits against police circulars

In Turkey, more and more nullity suits are filed against the police circular, which aims to stop audio and video recording of officers in public incidents.

A total of 36 bar associations have filed annulment proceedings with the Council of State against the new police measures in Turkey. They claim that the new regulation is unlawful and violates the Turkish constitution. Among the chambers filing the lawsuits are the bar associations in Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Diyarbakir, Bingöl, Dersim, Ağrı and Van.

In a circular issued in the run-up to May Day, the General Directorate of Security called on security personnel to prevent people from making audio and video recordings during public incidents. Filming people should not even be given the opportunity to make audio or video recordings. If this were to happen, legal proceedings would have to be initiated, according to the circular of April 27 signed by the police chief Mehmet Aktaş. This is because the image of the police would be tarnished by recordings of operations that are circulated on online networks.

According to the circular, the main reason given for the regulation is that the right to privacy of police officers is violated by recordings at public incidents - meaning demonstrations, rallies and similar events.

lknur Alcan, co-chairwoman of the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) in Ankara, had called the regulation a "free pass for torture". ÖHD has also filed a complaint with the Council of State.