On Friday, The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported that YukselKarkin — the largest law firm in Turkey, which was, until December 2014, associated with DLA Piper in the country — had been raided by “armed police," with four of the firm’s partners taken into custody.
Not arrested, according to the paper, were Founding Partners Cuneyt Yuksel and Murat Karkin, both of whom were reported to be outside the country. The police’s search of the office, the paper reported, “lasted several hours.”
Although no formal reason for the police action was stated, the paper noted that YukselKarkin — which operated as YukselKarkinKucuk until founding Partner Muharrat Kucuk left the firm several months ago (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on June 16, 2016) — was rumored to be associated with exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused of being behind the recent failed coup attempt in the country. As reported by CEE Legal Matters on May 16, 2016, that alleged association was also reported earlier this year by the Sabah on-line newspaper.
On June 22, 2016, Partners Cuneyt Yuksel and Murat Karkin participated in an interview with CEE Legal Matters about their plans going forward after Kucuk’s departure, although they declined to answer any questions about the Sabah article or their rumored association with Gulen.
YukselKarkin’s website is down, and emails sent to lawyers at the firm were returned as undeliverable.
CEE Legal Matters’ attempts to reach YukselKarkin’s lawyers and several of its clients were not successful. More information to follow.