Turkish lawyers stage protest march
In Turkey, lawyers from several provinces began marching towards Ankara on Friday in protest at a bill put forward by the ruling AKP party which would change the electoral procedures of the country’s bar associations, among other things. The lawyers say the legislation would restrict their rights and grant the government unwarranted influence. Turkish commentators are impressed by the action.
Protest is a human right
At some point there comes a time when you have to assert your fundamental rights, Murat Yetkin comments on his blog:
“One of the sayings used by late President Süleyman Demirel that we protested the most in our youth was 'The roads do not erode by walking'. We used to read that as 'no matter what you say, I'll stick to what I know best'. Back in the day, we didn't see the dimension of using a democratic right in that sentence. A few days ago it was the fifth anniversary of Demirel's death. And on this occasion, I want to admit that I misunderstood Demirel's words. I want to repeat the same sentence to Erdoğan: 'Roads do not erode by walking'. Peaceful protest is a human right, a constitutional right. And anybody could need it one day.”
Self-respect is stronger than fear
In the long term there comes a point when autocrats are no longer able to intimidate the people, T24 believes:
“The fact that authoritarian regimes use violence and spread fear is decisive in securing their existence. ... However, what authoritarian regimes do not understand is that it is not so easy to break the creatures we call human beings. This is also the key reason why authoritarian regimes are not made to last. People will never give up their demand: 'I exist, I am here and I want my existence to be respected!'”