Hello. We are living through times of chaos, uncertainty and pain. It is extremely important for us as lawyers to be able to define and explain what the people around us have been going through. It is the requirement of the mission of defense that we have assumed. That being the case, we wanted to join our forces and undertake a task in the name of our profession. That is how we came up with “Üstad,” (the Master).
During the first meeting, we discussed how to name this magazine. Contrary to the current trend of separation that has sunk into the current political, social and individual discourses, we sought to step in with a name that would unite and embrace the past and the future, the old and the new, the young and the elderly as well as the one end of the political order to the other without any hierarchical order. Consequently, we decided to name it “Üstad,” as we call each other at the corridors, hearings and interviews. No lawyer, ranging from the one fresh out of college with his/her tog anew to the experienced one carrying along the tog with pride as a symbol of years of experience is foreigner to the word “Üstad”. That is what we would like to become; we want to be no foreigner to or for anyone.
We are a team of individual lawyers with different experiences, stories and backgrounds. But at the end of the day, we share a common denominator which is to do our best as “lawyers.” We neither exaggerate nor underestimate ourselves. As it was the case in the past, a lawyer’s role is to prioritize and instill meaning to public benefit in the social organization of affairs which is becoming increasingly complex in the contemporary societies. In addition to being one of those professions which closely observe periods of transformation, it also constitutes one of the cornerstones of the social order.
Strangely enough, we still don’t know and record the exact details of history, culture and traditions that belong to us. Majority of our colleagues perform this profession along the lines of how they view the world. On the contrary, we are very much aware that the professions that have been carried forward from past to present go beyond individuals and personal perspectives in one way or another. In the absence of this kind of an approach, it cannot be anything more than an ordinary and superficial attitude, which is the case we experience today.
Please do not misunderstand; we are not intending to become anything more than a recorder or a collector. During the preparatory phase, we were told more than once that after a certain period of time, authors would find it challenging to come up with interesting topics to write about in a professional magazine. It may be possible, but we don’t think it is or will be true in our case. On the contrary, we believe that the more we discuss and write, the more new ideas and perspectives will appear on the horizon.
Nevertheless, recording is important. It is a common misperception in the verbal societies that one thinks he/she rediscovers the world for the first time at every turn. If words are not noted down and left blank in the air, they may rebound and return to its origins time and again. This obviously will not be of any help for positive change and transformation.
This is the gist of what we would like to say.
“Üstad” is a joint work carrying the pride of past knowledge and experience of this profession forward. It welcomes both criticism and positive/constructive contribution to ensure a long-lasting presence in the world of literature. In its first volume, we wanted to give the lawyers an opportunity to talk as much as possible; from the colleague who designed the togs we wear today, to the students of law faculties and the attendees of in-service training at the Academy for Lawyers and Trainees (AVSA) as well as the colleague working just next to us in Cyprus. We asked them questions and tried to make the best of their answers. We very much appreciate their contribution.
Hope to be in contact with much more to share. Take care…
(translated by Ayşe Akıncı Candoğan)