Freedom for Ali Fikri Işık
Rally, March 6, 2013 in Istanbul
(06.03.2013) International agreements duly put into effect bear the force of law. In the case of a conflict between international agreements in the area of fundamental rights and freedoms duly put into effect and the domestic laws due to differences in provisions on the same matter, the provisions of international agreements shall prevail.
Conscientious objector Ali Fikri Işık, was detained and arrested on 9th June 2012 in a hotel in Diyarbekir for being a 'draft-dodger'. Işık, who served 4.5 months in the Edirne Military Prison, and who has declared his conscientious objection in Kurdish in the military court, has continued to refuse the draft also after his release, but has appeared in court whenever sessions of his trial have been held. The military hospital, where he was sent, reported that Işık was 'suitable for military service'. More recently, on 27th February 2013, he was sentenced to 1 year and 15 days by the Edirne Military Court, and was imprisoned in the Edirne Military Prison for "desertion". Işık had previously been sentenced to more than a year for "desertion" and this sentence is running through the appeal process.
Today, we have assembled for our conscientious objector friend Ali Fikri Işık, who has been on a hunger strike since 27th February to protest against the ongoing injustice. As you may already be aware of, the only country among the 47 members of the European Council not to have recognised the right to conscientious objection in its constitution is Turkey. According to article 90 of the constitution, European Human Rights Court (EHRC) decrees have to be enforced. By not respecting this article, the government is breaching the constitution. What has been happening is a crime against humanity, apart from being a case of state terrorism and brazen disregard for the law.
We, conscientious objectors have up to now been tried on unrelated charges. For years we have been deprived of our freedom in prisons. We have undergone torture sessions and been subjected to efforts to “persuade” us. At the moment, we are here to represent all conscientious objectors through the person of Ali Fikri Işık. We are not discouraged or exhausted, and we are continuing to pursue our cause. We are not afraid of the punishment that executors will inflict upon us. We are not against war, we are for peace. We stand not with violence, but with human dignity.
Conscientious objection is a necessity for our country, not an extra.
We are addressing the AK Party and parliament. At the moment, while you are lying in your warm beds, our friends, who are completely blameless, are either suffering civil death or, as in the case of Ali Fikri Işık, have been deprived of their freedom. We are making efforts not to kill, not to bear weapons, and to put an end to the tears of mothers.
We are calling on the Edirne Military Court and on all enforcers of the law! For years you have been brazenly ignoring the constitution. You have used patriotic demagoguery to declare that we were “traitors”. We would like to remind our esteemed prosecutors and judges about article 90 of the Turkish constitution: “International agreements duly put into effect bear the force of law. In the case of a conflict between international agreements in the area of fundamental rights and freedoms duly put into effect and the domestic laws due to differences in provisions on the same matter, the provisions of international agreements shall prevail.”
We call on law enforcers to carry out their duties urgently. Release our friend Ali Fikri Işık immediately!
We would like to address the Cabinet through the Prime Minister with Yunus Emre’s verses.
Initiative for Solidarity with Ali Fikri Işık: Statement at rally, March 6, 2013 in Istanbul