Cyprus

EBCO, WRI, IFOR, and Connection e.V. strongly condemn the third (!) imprisonment of Turkish-Cypriot reservist conscientious objector Halil Karapaşaoğlu. We call on the authorities in the "TRNC" to urgently amend the Military Service Act so as to recognise the right of conscientious objection to military service, and to implement the Murat Kanatlı v Türkiye judgement of the European Court of Human Rights.

On Thursday (1st February), conscientious objector Halil Karapaşoğlu from North Cyprus (self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) was on trial at the Security Forces Court in the northern part of Nicosia for his refusal to respond to the reserve call. Halil's case has been postponed to 14th March, 2024.

EBCO, WRI, IFOR, and Connection e.V. denounce the continuing prosecutions and imprisonments of conscientious objectors in the northern, Turkish-occupied, part of Cyprus (the self-styled “Turkish Republic of North Cyprus”). The right to conscientious objection to military service should be urgently recognised in line with the European and international law and human rights standards.

Cyprus

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Issues

Cyprus still maintains conscription. The recognition of the right to conscientious
objection does not meet international standards.
The right to conscientious objection is not recognised for professional soldiers, nor for
serving conscripts.

Military recruitment
Conscription

Conscription
is enshrined in Article 129 of the 1960 Constitution, according to
which "(1) The Republic shall have an army of two thousand
men of whom sixty per cent shall be Greeks and forty per cent shall
be Turks.

64 organisations from Cyprus, Greece and Turkey published a statement calling for an end to fossil fuel explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean which fuel the militarisation in the region. The statement calls on the actors to take action for climate justice rather than conflicting over fossil fuel reserves. Read the full statement here.

The webinar series Campaigning for Conscientious Objection to Military Service continue with a new event on 30th March (4pm BST, 5pm CEST, 6pm Cyprus and Israel). On this webinar, we will be focusing on public awareness with activists from Cyprus, Israel and Finland presenting their campaigns on conscientious objection.

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