Turkey

Two Conscientious Objectors, Polen Ünlü and Alper Sapan, were murdered in the Suruç massacre

Polen ÜnlüPolen ÜnlüStatement from WRI affiliate Vicdani Ret Derneği

On 20th of July, many young people from different cities took the road for the re-construction of Kobanê which is the city that has been resisting against the attacks of ISIS for several months. Those young people wanted to re-build the city which was destroyed by war and bring life back to the children who are sentenced to death in the pillaged land. Alper SapanAlper Sapan

But they could not success. Everlasting war policy turned to a bomb and exploded right at the middle of the crowd of young people who were resisting to build the peace. Tens of people lost their lives and hundreds of them were injured.

One of those young people who had lost her life is Polen Ünlü who declared her conscientious objection in 2012 by saying “That war does not murder only men, but it murders women as well.” Alper Sapan is also one of those young people who had murdered in the massacre, and also one of conscientious objectors who declared his conscientious objection in May 2014 by saying “For the world where there is no war, no nation, no border; for freedom, I am listening to my heart and rejecting the military service.”

Polen Ünlü

  • Polen ÜnlüPolen Ünlü

Land:
  • Türkei
Activist type:
  • Kriegsdienstverweigerer/in
Status:
  • Declared objector


Related articles:

Alper Sapan

Land:
  • Türkei
Activist type:
  • Kriegsdienstverweigerer/in
Status:
  • Declared objector

CO Declarations:

Related articles:

Solidarity with those killed in Suruç

Related peace activists: 

Alper SapanAlper SapanYesterday's attack against civilians in the southern Turkish town of Suruç killed dozens of people. Conscientious objectors Alper Sapan and Polen Ünlü  were amongst those killed. In solidarity and respect, we share news from WRI member Merve Arkun:

Two of our CO friends were murdered by a suicide bomb attack that has happened in Pirsus (Suruç, Urfa, Turkey), today.

More than 31 Polen ÜnlüPolen Ünlüpeople travelling to Kobanê to support resistance against ISIS have died. At least 100 were heavily wounded.

Here is his Alper Sapan's CO declaration:
I am Alper Sapan. I am an anarchist who 19 years old. I am against the injustice, exploitation and oppression of the state. I am rejecting violence and the state. I am listening to the voice of my conscience and objecting the military system for a world that no borders, no wars and no nations. I will not die, I will not kill for anybody and will not be anybody's soldier.

Before militarism ends our lives let's end militarism.

Information about Polen Ünlü is still being translated into English. You can find information in Turkish here.

via Vicdani Ret Derneği (Conscientious Objection Association)

Turkish antimilitarists protest IDEF 2015 arms fair

Turkish antimilitarists protest the IDEF arms fairTurkish antimilitarists protest the IDEF arms fairOn Friday 8th May, ten protesters met in front of the IDEF 2015 Defense Industry Fair in Istanbul, Turkey. The protesters, who came together with the call from the Conscientious Objection Association were met with a heavy police presence including 15 civilian police, tens of riot police and one water cannon truck.

CO Association protest IDEF 2015 arms fair in Istanbul

IDEF TurkeyIDEF TurkeyAround ten protesters met today in front of the IDEF 2015 Defense Industry Fair in Istanbul. The protesters, who came together with the call of Conscientious Objection Association were met with heavy police presence including 15 civilian police, tens of riot police and one water cannon truck.

Despite attempts to prevent the protest by the police, the protesters read their statement in front of the building. “President Erdogan opened the fair by saying 'I hope this fair will bring fortune to the peoples of the world'. But the weapons that are present here will bring only death to the people all around the world” told Merve Arkun, the co-president of Conscientious Objection Association. Arkun criticized the increase of defense budgets worldwide, reaching to 1.6 trillion Euro per year. “The taxes taken from the poor peoples are spent for developing weapons of mass destruction. We're calling the states to stop their arms race” she told. Arkun ended her speech by referring to the latest developments in the defense industry like self guiding bullets and autonomous UAV's and telling “Don't forget that these weapons are killing people all over the world every day. You can never know when you'll be the next target. Militarism kills”.

Turkey: CO sentenced to 15 months and temporary conscription buy-out introduced

Related peace activists: 

A military court in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas has sentenced conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan, to 15 months in jail. The verdict was transformed to a fine of 9,000 Turkish Liras, for “failing to obey orders.” Mehmet is appealing the verdict Mehmet's struggle against the Turkish military has been running for over a decade.

The verdict disregards a previous ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), in which they found on a violation of article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights, and in addition of article 3 (prohibition of torture or inhuman treatment) of the Convention. The Court ruled that the heavy criminal sanctions imposed on those who did not comply with compulsory military service did not strike a proper balance between the general interest of society and that of conscientious objectors.

Briefing paper for the Universal Periodic Review: Turkey

3rd December 2014

For enquiries please contact Ms. Hülya Uçpinar  or Mr. Davut Erkan (c/o info@wri-irg.org)

Turkey is the last country in the Council of Europe area to recognise conscientious objection to military service. Conscientious objectors face the possibility of a life-long cycle of prosecutions and imprisonment, and a situation of “civil death” which excludes them from the normal social, cultural and economic life.

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