Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (President Abdullah Gül). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish. You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).
Dear Mr President Abdullah Gül,
I am very concerned about the recent arrest of conscientious objector Muhammed Serdar Delice. Muhammed Serdar Delice declared his conscientious objection on 2 March 2010, after five months of serving military service in the Turkish Army. He did not return from vacations and declared his conscientious objection instead. He said that he did not want to joint a non-Muslim army.
Muhammed Serdar Delice exercises his human right to conscientious objection to military service, as enshrined in Article 9 of the European Convention and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
On 22 November 2011, the European Court of Human Rights in the case Ercep v Turkey (case no 43965/04) ruled that not to provide for the right to conscientious objection is a violation of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Conscientious objectors had no option but to refuse to enrol in the army if they wished to remain true to their convictions. In so doing, they laid themselves open to a sort of “civil death” because of the numerous sets of criminal proceedings which the authorities invariably brought against them; they could face prosecution for the rest of their lives. The Court considered that that situation was not compatible with law enforcement in a democratic society.
I urge you to respect the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights, and to immediately release conscientious objector Muhammed Serdar Delice. I urge you to respect human rights.