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Support Turkish conscientious objectors

Take Action: Stop the Cycle of Violence in Turkey

International peace organisations, including War Resisters' International, are appealing to the European Union to not lose sight of the situation in Turkey. The renewed war in south-east Turkey is taking place largely away from the attention of the international public: instead terrorist attacks, the war in Syria, and the refugee issue dominate the agenda. But in the face of violence and human rights violations in the war between the Turkish government and PKK regions, we demand that European politicians no longer look away. For that purpose, we have created a petition directed at the High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Federica Mogherini. Join us in our appeal here.

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TURKEY: Jail Term for Conscientious Objector Onur Erden

Conscientious objector Onur Erden has been sentenced to 10 months in prison on charge of deserting mandatory military service. Erden will go to prison if the penalty is approved by the Military Supreme Court.

Trials of conscientious objectors Onur Erden and Uğur Gültekin, who were pending a trial without arrest on charge of deserting mandatory military service, were heard by Gelibolu 2nd Corps Commandership Military Court.

Press release from the Conscientious Objection Association, Turkey

To the press and the public;

While the society is being tried to be made more hostile within each other day by day with the militarist and nationalist speeches that have increased after the termination of the solution process, the militarist pressure on the society is now changing shape. In these days when the militarist language is becoming dominant, the pressure on the society doesn’t remain as just words. In this context; the provisions of the law which have been in force for years but have never been applied in practice, have started to being put into practice.

VR-DER was in Amed on International Conscientious Objection day

14 May panel14 May panel

On May 14 and 15, the event titled "We Will Not Let Amed Turn Into Garrison Town" that we as Conscientious Objection Association (COA) together with Tahir Elçi City Forest Coordination have organized ended in 15th May.

Statement of conscientious objectors from eastern Mediterranean region

Solidarity action outside the Israeli embassy in Athens for Tair Kaminer, Israeli CO currently in jailSolidarity action outside the Israeli embassy in Athens for Tair Kaminer, Israeli CO currently in jailConscientious objector groups from the eastern Mediterranean region have recently issued a statement on the ongoing military crisis in their region. Declaring their solidarity with refugees escaping from war and repression, they made a call to the international community to pursue peaceful solutions, rather than militarised ones, for the ongoing violence in the region. “The world's reaction to the current regional violence,” the statement declares, “should be building societies, assisting refugees, and mediating between fighting parties, not selling arms, bombings and providing military assistance.”

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Turkish court says: "We think that your thought isn’t a thought – so you can’t benefit from freedom of thought!"

 Sentez yoksa düşünce yok, düşünce yoksa özgürlük de yok

ONUR EREM / @onurerem - BİRGÜN NEWSPAPER

Turkish courts have released the detailed ruling against Yannis Vasilis Yaylali, a conscientious objector from Turkey who was convicted for violating a highly controversial penal code, Article 318 – “alienating public from military service”. The details show that Turkish courts are having a go at philosophy in order to sentence Yaylali to 7 months and 15 days in prison. The court simply argued that Yaylali’s thoughts are not real thoughts, thus he can’t benefit from freedom of thought!

Statement of conscientious objectors’ groups from eastern Mediterranean region

We are conscientious objectors from all around the eastern Mediterranean region. Our region has suffered for so long from oppression, injustice, militarisation, military occupations and wars, as well as poverty, illiteracy, hunger and lack of social infrastructure. In this difficult period, when our region seems to fall even more into the chaos of war, we raise a common voice for peace and against militarisation.

We refuse to allow this cycle of violence, initiated by oppressive states and economic interests, to continue; we refuse to be a part of it; we refuse to be enemies with people who just happen to be of a different nationality or religion; we will not be dragged into their wars and armies leading to death and destruction in the region.

Turkey: CO Yannis Vasilis Yaylali sentenced to seven months for "alienating people from military service"

Related peace activists: 

Yannis Vasilis YaylaliYannis Vasilis YaylaliOn 6 January 2016, conscientious objector Yannis Vasilis Yaylali was sentenced to 7 months and 15 days of prison penalty, for his articles that defend conscientious objection and oppose the war going on in Kurdish regions. The custodial sentence can only begin after the decision of court of appeal, so he is not in prison yet. He was found guilty of flouting the infamous Article 318 of the Turkish penal code: alienating people from military service. He has two more prosecutions with the same accusation.

Yannis made a statement after the decision:

"Article 318 was rarely used in the last years, until the war began again last year. The state is increasing its pressure to all war resisters, anti-militarists and conscientious objectors in the times of war. They're trying to silence us but we won't give in."

Conscientious Objector Tarhan Released Facing Civil Death

Related peace activists: 

Photo: BianetPhoto: BianetConscientious Objector Mehmet Tarhan was detained in Aydın province and then was released on probation. Tarhan commented: “Civil death started for me.”

Conscientious Objector and LGBTI activist Mehmet Tarhan was detained in Aydın province and then released.

Tarhan talked to bianet that he was placed a charge of being deserter in March 2015 and a warrant was issued.

Tarhan was taken to prosecution and then to recruiting office in Aydın province in Aegean Region of Turkey:

“They granted me two days to be enlisted and then released me in the recruiting office. It means the time of “civil death” started for me.

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