NORTHERN CYPRUS: Conscientious objector Murat Kanatli imprisoned


Three weeks ago Murat Kanatli hosted a group of thirty activists from around the Eastern Mediterranean region who gathered in Nicosia for a meeting of conscientious objector and war resister movements in the Eastern Mediterranean. Today he has been imprisoned for his refusal to take part in the annual compulsory military service exercises.

Write a protest email about his imprisonment here: /node/22926


 Murat Kanatli, a board member of the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection, declared his conscientious objection on ideological grounds in 2009 and has since refused each year to participate in the annual compulsory military exercises in the northern part of Cyprus.

Murat's first appeared in Court related to this 'crime' in June 2011. Since then he has taken his case the Constitutional Court, and faced numerous postponements and trials.

Today a military court ruled that the right to conscientious objection is not regulated in domestic law. The court gave a penalty of 500 Turkish liras and 10 days in prison if Kanatli failed to pay the penalty. Upon refusal to pay the penalty Kanatli is sent to serve 10 days in prison.


The Initiative for Conscientious Objection in Cyprus has called upon the international community to express its solidarity with Murat Kanatli. A list of Turkey's's embassies abroad can be found here:

You can send a protest email here: /node/22926

War Resisters' International joins The Initiative for Conscientious Objection in Cyprus calls for the immediate release of conscientious objector Murat Kanatli, and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.

Hannah Brock

War Resisters' International