International Conscientious Objection Day
Solidarity with conscientious objectors in Turkey
(09.04.2021) Every year on 15th May, the International Conscientious Objection Day, we organise solidarity with conscientious objectors (COs) and draw attention to their resistance to war. This year we have a particular focus on Turkey – working closely with Conscientious Objection Association (Vicdani Ret Derneği).
In Turkey, there are thousands of COs who refuse to perform compulsory military service. The right to conscientious objection to military service isn’t recognised and anyone refusing compulsory military service face a lifetime persecution, including continuous arrest warrants and repeated prosecutions amounting to “civil death” – a term being used to describe their exclusion from social, cultural and economic life.
On this International Conscientious Objection Day, we will repeat our call to Turkey to stop persecuting conscientious objectors and recognise their right to refuse to take up arms! During May, through a number of webinars, publications, video interviews, we will be amplifying the voices of COs from Turkey.
Background information, actions and events
Connection e.V., War Resisters‘ International and Vicdani Ret Derneği already prepared background material for the campaign. You can find:
- A background paper to the actual situation of conscientious objectors;
- The last two issues of the Bulletin Conscientious Objection;
- Some videos with statements of conscientious objectors;
Join us on this day of solidarity with COs from Turkey!
You can be part of our campaign via a number of ways::
- Online or physical events: Organise an online or physical event with COs from Turkey, or invite them to your already planned activities. Get in touch with us for speakers or ideas for themes via info(at)wri-irg.org;
- Post your messages of solidarity with COs from Turkey on social media. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for further updates and content you can share from Turkey. #CODay2021, #COinTurkey;
- Write to relevant contacts in your country who might have power to support conscientious objectors and to organise some pressure on Turkey. We could provide a draft letter;
- Contact us via info(at)wri-irg.org for any further questions. We are happy to be informed about your activities which we are going to publish as well.
Connection e.V. und War Resisters’ International: Call out, April 9, 2021.