An analysis of the indictment against Lawyer Aryen Turan

PEN Norway’s Turkey Indictment Project continues with four new indictment reports researched and authored by four leading international human rights lawyers and academics in 2023.

These reports represent a new analysis of indictments that directly concern freedom of expression in Turkey and those that particularly target journalists, politicians, human rights defenders and lawyers.

The report published today analyses the indictment written in November 2022 against Lawyer Aryen Turan.

Read the full report in English

Raporun tamamını Türkçe olarak buradan okuyabilirsiniz

Aryen Turan is a lawyer registered with the Izmir Bar Association. She was accused of knowingly and willingly aiding and abetting a terrorist organization following a speech she made in the İzmir Bar Association’s General Assembly.

During her speech, she addressed issues within the judiciary, the legal profession, and human rights violations in Turkey. Additionally, she briefly mentioned existing reports alleging the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) use of chemical weapons in its transborder operations.

Although Turan was acquitted at the end of the criminal prosecution, her short-term detention during the investigation phase led to severe criticism within the international legal community.

Legal experts from Lawyers for Lawyers, Laura Vroom and Gerrit Jan Pulles evaluated the indictment against Turan in the light of international law and stated that “the criminal charges brought against Aryen Turan fail to comply with Turkey’s obligations under international and European human rights law, in particular the right to freedom of expression. As such, the charges constitute an unlawful restriction on the right to freedom of expression under article 10 of the ECHR.”

Due to the ongoing crisis in the judiciary and deteriorated state of the rule of law in Turkey we will continue to analyse indictments that directly concern freedom of expression in 2024.