June 1, 2011
THE TURKIFICATION OF ATTORNEYSHIP AND THE 1924 PURGE
IN THE İSTANBUL BAR ASSOCIATION
Attorneyship Code, Muhamat Kanunu, which was adopted on April 3, 1924 of the Turkish Assembly was the first legal regulation of the Republican period related to attorneys and bar associations as their professional organizations. The Code is a significant document because it was not only the first regulation on attorneyship but also an important document which paved the way for broad-scale purge at the Istanbul Bar Association due to its provisional article. According to the provisional article, the commission of elimination, meclis-i tefrik, which was composed of five members assigned by the Minister of Justice, was entitled to investigate whether members of the bar association met necessary qualifications to practice the profession or not, and to expel the ones who did not meet the conditions from the bar. It is also mentioned in the provisional article that the ones who were expelled from the bar association had the right to present their objection to the Ministry of Justice in 15 days. It is seen that some of the attorneys who were registered to the Turkish bar associations were eliminated. A purge took place among the attorneys who were registered to Istanbul Bar Association at this mentioned process. In the presentation, the Code and nationalist discourse which the purge of 1924 at the Istanbul Bar Association was based on will be examined in the context of prevention of non-Muslims to practice attorneyship and Turkification of Istanbul Bar Association.