Dear readers of CO-Update.
Since the judgement of the Grand Chamber of European Court of Human Rights in the case of Bayatyan vs Armenia from 7 July 2011, it's quite a bit of work to keep up with the series of judgements by chambers of the European Court on conscientious objection. The latest judgement in the case of Halil Savda from 12 June 2012 is the third on conscientious objection in Turkey, and the sixth (including Bayatyan) on conscientious objection in general within hardly one year. These judgement, and also the recent decision of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations, put more pressure on the country to finally recognise the right to conscientious objection.
However, in this process of legal recognition the Turkish conscientious objectors face many potential dangers. The statment of the Turkish Defence Minister that conscientious objectors might "be allowed to skip out on service by agreeing to submit to penalties" is a worrying reminder of the militarist mindset that has to be overcome. In the next years, conscientious objectors in Turkey will therefore need a lot of support.
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