World Bulletin / News Desk
A law association has reacted against the İstanbul Bar Association for its prohibition on the wearing of headscarves on its premises and called on lawyers who have been subjected to the ban to file a complaint.
In spite of criticism leveled against the association for its ban of headscarved legal interns from entering the association’s education building, the association continues with its ban, sending warning letters to headscarf-wearing interns taking courses at the association.
Boğaziçi Lawyers’ Association head Fikret Duran said the bar association’s anti-headscarf practice is a violation of human rights. “When the lawyers subjected to the ban file an official complaint, the courts will definitely label this unlawful practice a crime.”
Noting that sending warning letters to headscarved law interns is against the principle of equality of opportunity in education, Duran said the bar association is committing a crime by discriminating against certain people. “With such a practice, the bar association is categorizing lawyers based on their ideologies and aiming to have one certain type of lawyer with one certain ideology, and it is discriminating against different views and lifestyles. If you talk to lawyers who are registered with the İstanbul Bar Association, you will see that at least 80 percent of them are unhappy with the association. They will say that although [bar association head Ümit] Kocasakal made many promises when he was elected, no improvements have been made for lawyers. The İstanbul Bar Association will elect its new head in November. And realizing that they are going to lose, the current administration is trying to win votes with such practices involving the headscarf, which are outdated,” Duran said.
The warning letter, which was sent to headscarf-wearing interns taking courses at the bar association, stated: “It has been found that you have acted against professional principles. In the event of your resistance, disciplinary process will be launched [against you],” and was signed by Kocasakal.
The association’s discriminatory practice has drawn reactions from numerous segments of society. Many lawyers and representatives from nongovernmental organizations have held demonstrations and voiced their criticism of the association’s anti-headscarf practice.Last Mod: 09 Temmuz 2012, 17:44