Turkey

UN Human Rights Committee highlights conscientious objection in Turkey

On 17–18 October, the United Nations Human Rights Committee finalised the examination of the initial report of Turkey on the country’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Hülya Üçpınar, activist and human rights lawyer from Turkey, addressed the committee on behalf of WRI. She reported on the status of conscientious objection in Turkey, telling the committee about restrictions imposed on conscientious objectors lives – the fact they can't vote, are in constant danger of being detained by security forces, and are severely hampered in finding work.

The Current Situation Regarding Conscientious Objectors in Turkey

In October 2012, Hülya Üçpinar addressed the United Nationas Human Rights Committee on behalf of War Resisters' International.

Kerem Koç

Activist:
Country:
  • Turkey

Officers of the Turkish Armed Forces:

After having read, researched, discussed, and prayed about compulsory military service for many years, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot participate in military service with a clear conscience and with freedom of will.

Kerem Koç

  • Kerem KoçKerem Koç

Country:
  • Turkey
Activist type:
  • Conscientious objector
Status:
  • Declared objector

CO Declarations:

Solidarity: a barrier between you and fear

Dear friends,

My name is Hülya Üçpınar, I am a human rights lawyer in Turkey. I write on returning from an exchange on nonviolence training co-hosted by War Resisters' International. The event reminded me of the distinctive contribution that WRI makes to movements for peace and antimilitarism.

Fundamentally, WRI is a network -- a collective of like-minded groups, each struggling against militarism and warmongering in our own contexts. With the support of two staff in the WRI office in London, we lend each other vital solidarity and encouragement.

Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Turkey

CCPR/C/TUR/CO/1
1 November 2012

(...)

10. The Committee is concerned about the discrimination and alleged acts of violence against people on the basis of their gender identity and sexual orientation, and about the social stigmatization and social exclusion of LGBT persons in terms of their access to health services, education, or to their treatment in the context of the regulations concerning compulsory military service and while serving in the military. (arts. 2 and 26)

UN Human Rights Committee calls on Turkey to Improve its Human Rights Situation

Joint press release from War Resisters' International, IHD, International Fellowship of Reconciliation, Istanbul LGBTT, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, and the Centre for Civil and Political Rights

Geneva 17-18 October 2012.

İnan Suver

Activist:
Start of detention:
  • 12 Sep 2012
End of detention:
  • 12 Oct 2012
Country:
  • Turkey
Description:
  • Detained for escaping from prison whilst serving a sentence for conscientious objection. Sentenced to five months imprisonment in absentia.

TURKEY: Reimprisonment of conscientious objector İnan Suver

Activist:
Country:
  • Turkey
Alert:

War Resisters' International has learnt of the reimprisonment of conscientious objector İnan Suver on 12 September 2012. He was arrested in Istanbul during a routine identity check.

He has been re-arrested for escaping from hospital whilst serving a prison sentence for conscientious objection.

İnan was sentenced in absentia to five months imprisonment for his escape from prison.

Imprisonment of conscientious objector İnan Süver

Activist:
Country:
  • Turkey
Not sent after:
  • 22 Oct 2012
  • Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (President Abdullah Gül). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish. You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).

Imprisonment of conscientious objector İnan Süver

Dear Mr President Abdullah Gül,

I am concerned about the re-arrest of conscientious objector İnan Süver on 12 September in Istanbul. He has been re-arrested for escaping from hospital whilst serving a prison sentence for conscientious objection.

İnan was sentenced in absentia to five months imprisonment for his escape from prison.

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