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Justice Watch participant Kemal Aytaç came to Çağlayan Courthouse yesterday (February 5) to depose upon finding out that he was to be detained for reading out the Turkish Medical Association’s (TTB) declaration “War is a Matter of Public Health.”
In the afternoon, Aytaç deposed to Terror and Organized Crime Investigation Bureau prosecutor Özgür Metin. He was released after giving his deposition.
Numerous attorneys gathered by the Themis statue at the entrance of the courthouse in solidarity. Prior to the testimony, Aytaç and Istanbul Bar Association Head Mehmet Durakoğlu met with Istanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Hasan Yılmaz. Aytaç was told in the meeting that there was no warrant on him and that he would testify to the prosecutor in charge of the investigation at 2:00 p.m., once the file arrived from the police station.
Attorneys gathered by the Themis statue to support Aytaç later made a statement to the press in front of the courthouse. Joining the press briefing were the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Progressive Legists’ Association (ÇHD) Istanbul Branch Head Gökmen Yeşil, Libertarian Legists Platform member attorneys, Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) Presidents Council member Alper Taş, Halkevleri Project Chair Oya Ersoy, Halkevleri attorneys, journalists tried on the Cumhuriyet case Kadri Gürsel, Turhan Günay, Musa Kart, Önder Çelik, Diyarbakır Bar Association Head Ahmet Özmen, Van Bar Association Head Murat Timur, Artvin Bar Association Head Ali Uğur Çağal, Bursa Bar Association Head Gürkan Altun and Istanbul Bar Association Head Mehmet Durakoğlu.
In the last meeting of the Justice Watch (February 1), started 44 weeks ago to protest unjust detentions of attorneys, who are pending trial in detention, in the lawsuit against newspaper Cumhuriyet, participants had read out the TTB’s declaration and protested the detainment of TTB board members.
Justice Watch participant attorney Kemal Aytaç had read out the TTB declaration targeted by President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and arguing that war is a public health issue, followed by other participants of the watch who had repeated it.
That same day around 1:30 a.m., Security Directorship officers came to Aytaç’s dwelling to inform him that he was to be taken into custody. No measure could be taken because Aytaç, now the subject of an investigation due to his speech at the Justice Watch, was not home. (EA/PU)