War Resisters' Stories: February 2018

No to war, written in Turkish
Issue number

Statement on Turkey's military intervention in Northern Syria

The Turkish military has been running an operation called 'Olive Branch' in Syria since 20th January 2018. Reports from the region show the human cost of the ongoing operation, including hundreds of dead as well as injured; and show how it has fuelled conflict in the region.

Meanwhile, reports from inside Turkey cover stories of increasing oppression of the dissident voices opposed to war. These include hundreds of people detained or arrested due to their social media posts criticising the government and its military intervention, as well as the arrests and detainment of the prominent figures, such as the Turkish Medical Association council members who opposed the military operation declaring “war is a matter of public health” .

War Resisters' International stands in solidarity with activists in Turkey supporting peace and opposing war in Syria, Turkey and elsewhere. Click here to read a statement by the Human Rights Association and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey , which WRI's Turkey Working Group endorses, on the ongoing military operation in Northern Syria.

This month, activists from different European countries met in London as part of a WRI training on countering youth militarisation and its gendered dimensions. During the training, activists took part in various activities exploring how military values are promoted to young people, in which ways this militarisation is gendered, and how we can plan effective strategies countering these forces. Following the training, WRI also hosted a public forum on countering youth militarisation, joined by activists from the Czech Republic, Finland, Turkey and the UK.

In January this year, Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced that Australia was aiming to become one of the world’s top ten ‘defence export’ countries over the next decade, moving up from its current position of 20th for the period of 2012-2016.

Conscientious objector Ruslan Kotsaba appeared in court again last week charged with obstruction of the Ukrainian armed forces. Ruslan has already been imprisoned for these "crimes". He was arrested in February 2015 and sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment.

Our new webshop is live! You can visit it here: wri-irg.org/en/shop As well as our usual favourites, we’ve also added some bulk purchase reductions, like five classic WRI books for £25. These would be an amazing addition to any peace library, for a new nonviolence study group, or for any budding activist.