CO Day 2021: Solidarity with conscientious objectors from Turkey

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CO Day poster - Turkish

Every year on 15th May, the International Conscientious Objection 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 May, through a number of webinars, publications, video interviews, we will be amplifying the voices of COs from Turkey.

Find more background information on the situation of conscientious objectors in Turkey here.

Also, see two recent bulletins published by the Conscientious Objection Association. Click here for the February issue and here for the December (2020) issue

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 our webinar on 14th May (16:30 CEST), Conscientious Objection and International Solidarity, the case of Turkey, participated by activists and COs from Turkey. Click here to register and find more information.

  • 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.  

  • Organise an online or physical event with COs from Turkey, or invite them to your already planned activities. Get in touch with us for speakers or ideas for themes via info@wri-irg.org.

  • Post your messages of solidarity with COs from Turkey on social media with hashtags #CODay2021 and #COinTurkey. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for further updates and content you can share from Turkey.

  • Contact us via info@wri-irg.org for any further questions.

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