The chair and board members of the İzmir Bar Association are under investigation over a statement criticizing LGBTI+phobic remarks by President of Religious Affairs Ali Erbaş.
In a Friday sermon on June 24, 2020, Prof. Ali Erbaş had said, “Islam accepts adultery as one of the greatest harams. It curses the people of Lot, the homosexuality. What is the wisdom of this? The wisdom here is that it brings diseases and degenerates the generation.”
Along with other lawyers’ groups and NGOs, the İzmir Bar had criticized Erbaş’s statement, saying that it was “hate speech.” Prosecutors had refused to open an investigation against Erbaş.
Releasing a statement today (July 1), the İzmir Bar said it will continue to struggle for justice and rule of law.
“You will not be able to silence the voice of the İzmir Bar Association with investigations, trials and penalties,” it said.
The bar association said that prosecutors’ attitude towards lawyers while not taking action against the recent revelations of mafia-state relations while investigating lawyers indicated the “deplorable state of the law in our country.”
Previously, investigations were opened into the Diyarbakır and Ankara bar associations for criticizing Erbaş over the same statement.