Turkey: Conscientious Objection Association publishes significant report on the situation of conscientious objectors
(06.07.2021) Yesterday the Istanbul-based Association for Conscientious Objection (Vicdani Ret Dernği) published a comprehensive report on the situation of conscientious objectors in Turkey. "The report," the association said in its press release, "details the rights violations and juridical processes conscientious objectors in Turkey are experiencing." Turkey, which is a member of NATO, has compulsory military service, usually lasting six months, and does not recognise conscientious objection.
The 76-page report prepared by Mine Yıldırım and Hülya Üçpınar also refers to all relevant international decisions, recommendations and court jugdments. The report is also based in significant parts on the evaluation of a survey conducted among conscientious objectors in Turkey, some of whom are presented with their fate.
"The two authors", said Rudi Friedrich of Connection e.V. today, "show with their report in all clarity how conscientious objectors in Turkey are persecuted until old age. A vicious circle of recruitment, refusal, criminal proceedings and renewed recruitment, which continues throughout their lives, excludes them from society. They are exposed to renewed recruitment and prosecution at any time. They are deprived of their civil rights. This is an untenable state of affairs."
Never before has there been such a comprehensive and detailed study on the situation of conscientious objection in Turkey. "It is a very important documentation," says Rudi Friedrich, "suitable for exerting more pressure on Turkey at an international level to guarantee the human right to conscientious objection in the country according to European and international jurisprudence."
The English version of the report can be downloaded at https://en.connection-ev.org/pdfs/expert-opinion-turkey-2021.pdf, the Turkish version at https://en.connection-ev.org/pdfs/tuerkiye-askerlik-hizmetine-karsi-vicdani-ret-2021.pdf.
Connection e.V., News July 6, 2021