Turkey: Investigation Against Association of Conscientious Objection

by Ekin Karaca

(11.01.2019) Furkan Çelik, owner of the domain of the Association of Conscientious Objection's website, has deposed at the Prosecutor's Office for the charge of “provocative posts intended not to fulfill the military service duty.” An investigation has been launched against the Association of Conscientious Objection (VR-DER) because of the posts shared on social media and the vicdaniret.org website.

Furkan Çelik, who owns the domain, and VR-DER Co-Chair attorney Gökhan Soysal deposed at the Prosecutor's Office at January 11, 2019. Soysal has stated that the investigation was launched because of eight news articles and they were charged with "provocative posts intended not to fulfill the military service duty." Speaking to bianet, Soysal has said the following regarding the process:

"Not a crime but a constitutional right"

"The Bureau for Combating Cyber Terrorism stumbled upon a news story regarding a conscientious objector who was being tried. They thought that we share provocative posts intended not to fulfill the military service duty.

"They searched for the domain of vicdaniret.org and reached Furkan Çelik.

"Now the file has come from the Police Department to the Prosecutor's Office. The Prosecutor's Office, without doing any procedural act on the lawsuit, summoned Furkan Çelik to depose.

"We went to depose at the Prosecutor's Office yesterday. An investigation has been launched into eight news articles. But the charge is not clear. The only charge we know is provocative posts intended not to fulfill the military service.

"Furkan Çelik said he bought the domain when the association was being founded. Both the web page and the social media account was managed by the association and he did not share the posts.

"I stated that the mentioned posts do not contain an element of a crime. I referred to the ECtHR (European Court of the Human Rights) verdicts on conscientious objection against Turkey.

"I said that sharing posts intended not to fulfill the military service duty is not a crime but a constitutional right."

Ekin Karaca: Investigation Against Association of Conscientious Objection. January 11, 2019. Source: https://bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/204385-investigation-against-association-of-conscientious-objection

Keywords:    ⇒ Conscientious Objection   ⇒ Prosecution   ⇒ Turkey