Turkey COs form an association


Turkey's conscientious objectors founded their first association on May 18, during the week of International Conscientious Objectors Day. The association will be open to all who refuse the compulsory military drafting for religious, moral or political reason, activists said.

The Turkish state continues to repeatedly punish COs, who face what's known as 'civil death', being at constant risk of re-imprisonment, unable to register a child, leave the country, and facing many other discriminations.

Meanwhile, a sub-commission of the Turkish Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission has agreed to offer alternative civilian service to compulsory military service in the new Constitution. It won't, however, recognise the right to conscientious objection. The final, full text of the constitution will not be finalised for some months.

Sources: Bianet, Conscientious Objectors to Form Association in Turkey, 9 May 2013; Hurriyet Daily News, 'Civilian service' eyed for conscientious objectors, 18 May 2013.

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