TURKEY: Trial against Mehmet Tarhan adjourned. New CO arrested


The trial against conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan (TK14724), who has been arrested on 8 April 2005 (see TK14724-080405 - http://wri-irg.org/news/htdocs/20050408a.html) has been adjourned to 26 May today. At the end of the trial, Sahin Ozbay (TK14728), who had declared his conscientious objection on 4 October 2004, was arrested. It is expected that he will be brought to the recruitment office and then transferred to "his" military unit, and will follow the fate of Mehmet Tarhan. The trial against Mehmet Tarhan has been adjourned to 26 May, so that the court can hear witness statements from 10 soldiers, who witnessed Mehmet Tarhan's "insubordination in front of his unit", according to Article 88 of the Turkish Military Penal Code (TACK). This charge carries a penalty between 3 months and 5 years imprisonment. The trial was attended by a group of Turkish supporters and conscientious objectors, and two international observers, who formed an international delegation organised by War Resisters' International. Tina Kemler from Germany and Eldad Zion from Israel reported on the arrest of Sahin Ozbay and the adjournment of the trial, and are presently discussing further action with the Turkish supporters.

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of conscientious objectors Mehmet Tarhan and Sahin Ozbay.

War Resisters' International calls for a continued campaign of protest letters and email to the Turkish authories, and Turkish embassies abroad. A protest email to the General Staff headquarters can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/co/alerts/20050408a.html . Vigils and demonstrations in front of Turkish consulates and embassies can also be effective. A list of Turkish embassies abroad can be found at http://www.mfa.gov.tr/MFA/Ministry/TurkishRepresentations/searchReprese….

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International

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