The constitution calls it "fatherland service" and requires all male Turkish citizens over 20 years old to do military service. Yet, despite the strength of Turkey's militarist traditions, for years there has been widespread avoidance of conscription.
It used to be official: anyone could have their military service reduced to a month's basic training simply by paying a "ransom". Others took advantage of the inefficiencies of Turkish bureaucracy or deferments such as those available to students.
Osman Murat Ülke faces trial in Ankara Military Court on Tuesday, 19 November for "alienating the public from the military" by burning his military papers. Osman, who has been detained since 7 October, ended his hunger strike after 21 days when the authorities accepted that he refuses to wear military uniform. He remains isolated from other prisoners -- most of whom are deserters. However, he now has a bed, a light, and reading and writing materials.
Elias and Ramiro looked around as they entered the barracks on 5 November. How on earth had they, two anti-militarists, ended up here? "OK, it's tough to be a MOC activist, but standing In the ranks trying to look military as you figure out what the sergeant's barking means, that may be just too much!"
They are taking it with good humour, as If they're in a surrealistic story. They'll play soldiers for awhile before they finally report to -their" commander and announce that they are total resisters and therefore refuse to obey orders and to perform military service.
Every December, War Resisters' International invites supporters to send greeting cards to prisoners for peace. This Honour Roll includes imprisoned conscientious objectors and nonviolent activists who have tried to obstruct war preparations. Each year, we also focus on one of the nonviolent struggles around the world: this year it is in Burma, where a military régime suppresses democratic organisations and wages a war against tribal groups.
The Israeli army used to be venerated -a symbol and a source of national unity. Against the background of his personal transformation from would-be war hero to resister, Adam Keller traces its decline.
Militarism run amok. Massive unemployment, poverty wages, and huge gaps between rich and poor. Corruption and inflation out of control Failing literacy.
Human rights abuses are rampant - fake imprisonment, torture, rape, and many kinds of violence - in part because there is no law except arbitrary military decrees and actions. Each colonel operates like a war lord in his area. Forced labour is widespread. Conscription into the military is ubiquitous, but the wealthy simply buy their way out. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is out of control with at least 300,000 people infected.
Stephen Hancock Prison conjures up hundreds of images and feelings. And covers a variety of institutions and experiences - from hell-holes of torture and deprivation to well-resourced open campuses. Each person's experience is shaped by myriad factors: gender, race, age, sexuality, geography, character, regime, prisoners, prison officers, family relationships, political climate, and support. Even within one country prison varies enormously. I have stayed in three different English prisons, twice for one week and once for six months.