Cyprus, Northern or Turkish Cyprus

en
05/11/1997

1 Conscription

conscription exists

The northern part of Cyprus applies conscription, but its current legal basis is unclear. Probably the laws and regulations pertaining to it are derived from and similar to the Turkish military service laws.

military service

The length of military service is 24 months. [4] [1]

After completing military service, conscripts are called up for a few days reservist training annually until they turn 50 or 55. [9]

postponement and exemption

Nothing is known about any regulations permitting postponement.

Exemption is granted on medical grounds, but in practice exemption is not easily granted. [9]

recruitment

Call-up age for military service takes place at the age of 18. A written call-up is handed out by the military recruitment office. [1]

2 Conscientious objection

There is no legal provision for conscientious objection. [1]

There is one known case of a conscript openly declaring himself as a conscientious objector. In September 1993 Turkish-Cypriot Salih Askerogul refused to perform military service on conscientious grounds. He was probably the first person in the TRNC openly to make such an announcement. His situation is delicate as he is married to a woman of Greek-Cypriot origin and has a daughter. When he announced his conscientious objection he issued a public statement explaining his refusal to hate Greek-Cypriots and treat them as the enemy. He was immediately imprisoned, his wife and daughter being expelled to southern Cyprus and not allowed to visit him in prison. His trial judge had to have the concept of conscientious objection explained to him, and Salih Askerogul was sentenced to three years three months' imprisonment. After his release nothing more was heard from him. There are strong indications that the Turkish-Cypriot authorities have offered him some sort of deal provided he recanted and remained silent. [1] [2] [3]

3 Draft evasion and desertion

penalties

Failure to respond to call-up may be punished by up to 3 years' imprisonment (art. 39 of the Military Penal Code). [2]

Incitement to refuse to perform military service may be punished by up to 3 years' imprisonment (art. 29 of the Military Penal Code). [3]

practice

There is one known case of a conscript who did not respond to call-up for reservist duties and was fined and threatened with six months' to three years' imprisonment if he did not fulfil his military obligations in future. [9]

6 Annual statistics

The TRNC armed forces consist of 4,000 troops (which is 2 percent of the population). [4] [12]

Sources

[1] Rabl, A. 1993. 'A lovers fight against chauvinism and militarism in a divided country - Cyprus', in: Peace News, London. [2] Amnesty International 1993. Urgent Action: Salih Askerogul. Amnesty International, London. [3] War Resisters' International 1993. Update on North Cyprus and Turkey. WRI, London. [4] Schmid, G. 1994. Wehr- und Zivildienst in Europäischen Ländern, Informationen, Analysen, Unterrichtbausteine. Wochenschau Verlag, Schwalbach. [5] Silvestri, A. 1993. Conscientious objection to military service: a regional human right? Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales, Geneva. [6] War Resisters' International 1990. Country report. WRI, London 1990. [7] War Resisters' International 1994. Issues of conscience and military service. WRI, London. [8] Amnesty International 1994. Cyprus: summary of Amnesty International's Human Rights Concerns. AI, London. [9] Refugee Review Tribunal 1994. Decision and reasons for decision in application for asylum. RRT, Melbourne, Australia. [10] Amnesty International 1997. Out of the margins, the right to conscientious objection in Europe. AI, London. [11] US Library of Congress 1991. Cyprus - a country study. Area Handbooks, State Department, Washington DC. [12] Institute for Strategic Studies 1997. Military Balance 1997/98. ISS, London.

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