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TURKEY: Ali Fikri Işık on trial - please fax the court

Activist:
Country:
  • Turkey
Alert:

WRI's affiliate in Turkey, Vicdani Ret Derneği, have issued an appeal on behalf of one of their board members, Ali Fikri Işık, a conscientious objector awaiting sentencing now.

Read more in Turkish here.

If you are able to, please send the fax appeal, which you can find here, to the court today. Please note that there are many websites that can send texts online, so it is not necessary to have a fax machine yourself.

Background

Ali Fikri Işık was imprisoned after the 1980 military coup. He refused military service and did not join the military unit he was assigned to after his release from prison. Ali Fikri Işık was arrested on 8 June 2012 in Diyarbakır and transferred to Edirne where he was imprisoned.

When brought to military court in Edirne on 14 August, Ali declared his conscientious objection in Kurdish, stating that he did not “acknowledge a court, which does not acknowledge my language”. He was released after the third court session on 17 October 2012, yet he was also asked to join “his” military unit in Kırklareli. He chose to return to his home in İstanbul.

While conscientious objector Işık refused to join the military he followed up on his court case, saying that it is the militarist mentality that should be put on trial. In the court session of 27 February 2013 he was sentenced to one year and fifteen days in prison for desertion. On the same day, a new investigation for desertion (following a different call up) began. Işık objected to the whole process and entered a hunger strike. He was released again on the court session for his second trial on 13 March 2013.

Işık was taken into custody three times after the first trial, which resulted in three further court cases. While the trials continued, he was referred to the military hospital (GATA) and declared “unfit for service” on 21 February 2014.

Meanwhile, the prison sentence of the first trial (one year and fifteen days) was finalised by the Supreme Court and carried out. However the subsequent cases (based on three different desertion charges) were merged in two trials, which still are in progress. At the last court session the military prosecutor demanded a prison sentence of two and a half years. The sentence will be proclaimed at the next court session on 22 October. Conscientious objector Işık will most likely be sentenced to at least 30 months in prison, if the court does not accept the right to conscientious objection.

The Turkish Conscientious Objectors Association (Vicdani Ret Derneği) has called for  solidarity with conscientious objector Işık. Please send the following fax by 22 October Wednesday, at 14.30 (Turkish time). They will also be attending the court session.

Solidarity action - please fax the court

If you are able to, please send the fax appeal, which you can find here, to the court today.

Hannah Brock

War Resisters' International