Turkish lawyers organize sit-in protests near the capital

Turkish lawyers organize sit-in protests near the capital

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – The heads of several Turkish lawyers’ associations started a sit-in demonstration on Monday after police prevented the group from marching to the capital, Ankara.

The heads of law firms from different cities embarked on a march to Ankara last week to protest against government plans to change laws that regulate lawyers and their associations, including the way they elect the association’s regional presidents.

The lawyers say the changes are intended to reduce the influence of the associations, many of which are outspoken critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

Police blocked the group on a main road leading to the city and briefly caused a fight between the lawyers and officers.

The lawyers – who had attempted to reach the mausoleum of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – then started a sit-in protest, the HaberTurk news channel reported. Ankara-based lawyers who arrived to greet the upcoming group also joined the protest.

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