SOLIDARITY to Mehmet Tarhan
Anti-authoritarian Group of Mytilini, 9 December 2005

Today at 8am there was a solidarity action to anarchist total objector Mehmet Tarhan in Mytilini, Lesvos island in Greece. There was a picket  and a leaflet distribution to passengers of the turkish ferry boat going to the facing turkish cost and the weekly big bazaar of Ayvalik. The leaflet we distributed is the following:

Mehmet Tarhan is a Turkish, homosexual, anarchist, total objector. In 2001, Mehmet publicly denied his classification to the Turkish army, declaring that drying out the human resources thereof can only stop wars. In April 2005 he was arrested and convicted by a military court in four years of imprisonment for "refusing orders". Jailed since then, Mehmet Tarhan has been beaten and tortured by warders and other prisoners. Because he denied to wear a uniform and get his hair cut, as a  punishment, they often put him into solitary confinement. He has been on a hunger strike twice (for 28 and 34 days) demanding the punishment of the guards who attacked him. Today, on 15 December, he is having a re-trial by a military court of appeal.

The Turkish state (like the Greek) does not recognize total objection and does not offer any possibility of alternative-social service instead of  an armed one (in Greece this possibility is typically offered by the law,  but with so much restrains that turns it to a punishment service). For the Turkish army (like the Greek) homosexuality is an "illness". Homosexuals wishing an exemption from military service are forced on a manual anal examination plus on visual proofs such as photographs or videos of an act of sexual penetration. In Mehmet’s first trial public prosecutor  and judge insisted that he should accept exemption from the army as an unfit person on grounds of his homosexuality. Mehmet denies been characterized "ill" because he is homosexual and continues supporting his total objection for reasons of conscience. As he declares: "I do not believe in the necessity of the state and I do not feel any belonging to any state… The state claiming I am a citizen of it wants to use me for military service, to turn me into a death machine and to make me a part of the crime...

The aim of the state is to reproduce  its power and itself. I will not let it happen and I will protect my beliefs. I perceive the rotten report that is provided for me because I am a gay  as the sign of the decadence of the state itself. As an individual, I will not serve for any kind of military or other apparatuses of any state. I admit that to excuse for this is an insult to myself and I refuse every kind of state permission or deference of the state."



Anti-authoritarian Group of Mytilini

PO Box 83, 81100 Mytilini, Greece