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Turkey

Renewed war in the Kurdish regions of Turkey

Since August 2015 the conflict between the Turkish government and Kurdish groups in the Kurdish regions of the country has been escalated into a new spiral of violence, with hundreds of deaths on both sides and a deteriorating humanitarian crisis, accompanied by grave violations of human rights from arbitrary imprisonment to extra-judicial killings.

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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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."

Yannis Vasilis Yaylali

Pays:
  • Turquie
Activist type:
  • objecteur/trice de conscience
Statut:
  • Declared objector


Related articles:

Urgent Call from Turkey's Human Rights Organisations to the International Community

With the interruption of the peace talks, the government of Turkey started, in mid-August, to implement a security policy that unlawfully restricts fundamental rights and freedoms in those cities and towns largely populated by Kurds.

 

Since August 2015, long-term and consecutive curfews have been declared in the provinces of, and the towns attached to Şırnak, Mardin, Diyarbakır, Hakkari and Muş, and are still underway in certain cities and towns. During these prohibitions, national and international media, human rights or professional organizations as well as representatives of the parliament who wanted to identify violations of rights have been denied access to these cities and towns. According to the findings in reports drawn up by the very small number of civil society organizations which could make their way into the region in the face of huge obstacles, it has been determined that the civilian population has become the target of both snipers and heavy weaponry, which has been used in an arbitrary fashion.

Declaración de la IRG sobre el asesinato de Tahir Elçi

La IRG ha emitido una declaración condenando el asesinato de Tahir Elçi, Presidente del Colegio de abogados Diyarbakir, importante abogado de derechos humanos y muy conocido como “enviado de paz” en Turquía. La declaración expresa la solidaridad de la IRG con la familia, amigos de Elçi así como con las activistas por la paz de Turquía. También hace un llamamiento a las autoridades turcas para que investiguen concienzudamente y de manera imparcial su asesinato.

Statement der WRI zum Mord an Tahir Elçi

Die WRI hat ein Statement herausgegeben, in dem der Mord an Tahir Elçi, dem Vorsitzenden des Anwaltsverbands von Diyarbakir, verurteilt wird. Tahir Elçi war ein bekannter Menschenrechtsanwalt und in der Türkei als „Botschafter des Friedens“ bekannt. Das Statement drückt die Solidarität der WRI mit Tahir Elçis Familie, FreundInnen und FriedensaktivistInnen in der Türkei aus und fordert von den türkischen Behörden, dass sie seine Ermordung gründlich und unparteiisch untersuchen. 

WRI Statement on the murder of Tahir Elçi

WRI have released a statement condemning the murder of Tahir Elçi, Chairperson of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, a prominent human rights lawyer and a well-known figure as a “peace envoy” in Turkey. The statement expresses WRI's solidarity with Elçi's family, friends, and the peace activists in Turkey, and calls on the Turkish authorities to investigate his murder thoroughly and impartially. Read the full statement

WRI Statement on the murder of Tahir Elçi

Tahir Elçi, Chairperson of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, a prominent human rights lawyer and a well-known figure as a “peace envoy”, was killed on 28 November 2015 in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey. He dedicated his life to peace and human rights. His last words were “We don’t want weapons, clashes and military operations in the birthplace and home of many civilisations” at a press conference a few minutes before he was shot.

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