Today is International Conscientious Objection Day! Every year on this day, we organise solidarity with conscientious objectors (COs) and draw attention to their resistance to war. This year we have a particular focus on Turkey.
In Turkey, there are thousands of COs who refuse to perform compulsory military service. The right to conscientious objection to military service isn’t recognised and anyone refusing compulsory military service faces lifetime persecution, including continuous arrest warrants and repeated prosecutions amounting to “civil death” – a term being used to describe their exclusion from social, cultural and economic life.
On this International Conscientious Objection Day, together with Conscientious Objection Association (Turkey) and Connection e.V., we are repeating our call to Turkey to stop persecuting conscientious objectors and recognise their right to refuse to take up arms! During this month, through a number of webinars, publications, video interviews, we are amplifying the voices of COs from Turkey.
Find more background information on the situation of conscientious objectors in Turkey here.
More resources and background information, including video reports and testimonies by conscientious objectors from Turkey, are available here.
Join us on this day of solidarity with COs from Turkey!
Join many others across the world today and send an email to the Turkish Embassy of your country, urging the Turkish Government to recognise the right to conscientious objection. You can use our template letter (click here to see it. Scroll down for Turkish translation). See the list of Turkish Embassies with their contact information here.
Help us spread the word on social media, post your messages of solidarity with COs from Turkey with hashtags #CODay2021 and #COinTurkey.