The Bar Human Rights Committee and the Bar Council have today urged Prime Minister Theresa May to address ongoing human rights violations in Turkey when she meets with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, BHRC and the Bar Council highlight the systematic persecution of lawyers and judges in Turkey, particularly in the months following the unsuccessful coup of July 15th 2016.

The letter is also critical of the the imprisonment of elected representatives, the suppression of free speech and the ongoing violence against South-East Turkey’s Kurdish minority. The Bar Human Rights Committee and the Bar Council describe the Turkish government’s actions as “an egregious attack on democracy itself”.

Chairwoman of BHRC, Kirsty Brimelow QC said:

“Turkey’s massive and disproportionate response to the attempted 2016 coup is now itself subverting the very same democratic values its government should be seeking to uphold.

“We hope the Prime Minister will agree that the battle against terrorism in Turkey, and indeed everywhere, is most effectively conducted while fully upholding human rights. We urge her to share this view with President Erdoğan when they meet”

Read the open letter here

Read Theresa May’s reply to BHRC’s letter here

Press coverage in The Sun