Our country follows a continental European understanding of the legal profession in which the founding principles of justice include the right of unrestricted defence by a legal profession which combines the qualities of the public sector with the attributes of the private sector. In Turkey, lawyers are not required to specialize and are free to address “…the resolution of every sort of legal relationship, every legal matter and dispute according to principles of justice and equity,” and to use their knowledge and expertise in the service of justice and persons “… before all courts, judges, private and public persons, boards and organizations.”
In order to enter the profession, a candidate must:
1. Be a citizen of the Turkish Republic;
2. Be a graduate of a Faculty of Law in Turkey, or a graduate of a foreign law faculty who has successful passed exams in any missing subjects;
3. Hold a certificate confirming the completion of a year’s internship
4. Be resident in the region of the Bar Association he or she wishes to register with;
5. Have no criminal record which would disbar him or her.
An attorney who has entered the profession is empowered to promote or defend the rights of real and legal persons before all courts, arbitrators or other bodies that have judicial power. They may give advice on law and legal issues and negotiate a settlement.
In Turkey, the profession is reserved to Turkish nationals. The only exception to this rule are those foreign lawyers involved in partnerships that fall within the scope of the regulations governing the encouragement of foreign investment. Such partnerships may be established according to the Attorney’s Law and may only work within the areas of foreign and international law.
Individuals who are not registered with a Bar Association may not use the title “Attorney” or work in the profession except the lawyers who are employed by state/government.