Lawyer gets battered by prosecutor’s driver and bodyguard after telling them off for driving the wrong way down 1-way street

A complaint has been filed by a Turkish lawyer, Bülent Akbay, against the bodyguard and driver of the İskenderun Chief Public Prosecutor Muhammet Emin Ünalan after the pair brutally him.

The incident started outside İskenderun Courthouse in Hatay Province, southern Turkiye. According to a news report in Birgün newspaper, Mr Akbay was driving his car along a one way road approaching the İskenderun Courthouse at around 8.30am local time on Thursday, 30 Nov.

He saw the official car of İskenderun Chief Public Prosecutor travelling in the opposite direction at speed before coming to a sudden halt.

Mr Akbay says he stopped his car and opened his window to challenge the driver for coming down a one-way street. The lawyer was promptly and rudely told by another person in the other car – Mr Ünalan’s bodyguard – that it “none of his business” and “to go away”.

On hearing this, Mr Akbay responded “What a way to talk”. According to Mr Akbay’s allegations, the bodyguard then exited his car and went towards Mr Akbay, grabbing both the lawyer’s hands as he repeatedly punched him in the head and face.

The prosecutor’s driver then joined in, helping to pull Mr Akbay out of his car and assault him on the street as the İskenderun Chief Public Prosecutor watched on.

Taxi drivers and police officers on duty by the courtroom car park tried to intervene and explained that the man being hit was a lawyer, prompting the bodyguard and driver to quickly return to their car and entered the courtroom car park.

Left bloodied and bruised, with torn clothes, Mr Akbay made his way to the courtroom’s fifth floor, which houses the İskenderun Chief Public Prosecutor’s office. As Mr Akbay was speaking to Mr Ünalan’s secretary requesting an urgent meeting, he claims the bodyguard and the driver came out of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s office and attacked him again.

Taking up their colleague’s case, the Hatay Bar Association contacted the Chief Public Prosecutor, Ünalan, who told them: ““Neither side should file a complaint, let the matter be closed.”

Undeterred, Bülent Akbay filed a criminal complaint against Mr Ünalan and his bodyguard and driver for the assault and requested camera footage from the 5th floor be made available too.

Afterwards, Mr Akbay said: “I only reacted because they were coming from the opposite direction and they attacked me. They beat me for 10 minutes. Chief Public Prosecutor Muhammet Emin Ünalan did not intervene. Instead, he got out of his vehicle and just watched.

“When the people standing nearby said that I was a lawyer, the Chief Prosecutor, his bodyguard and his driver ran away.”

“We will file a complaint against the Chief Public Prosecutor to the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK). Imagine, a prosecutor, his bodyguard and his driver committing a crime together,” Mr Akbay added.

Hatay Bar Association also released a statement headed ‘Against Violence And Bullying!!’, where they demanded the immediate dismissals of the driver and the bodyguard. Offering solidarity and support to their colleague Mr Akbay, the law body said they would track the case to ensure all those responsible were punished.