Mehmet Tarhan’s statement at his trial
Sivas, 4 August 2005

By declaring my conscientous objection on October 27 2001, I stated that I would not perform military service, that I would not take part in any army or similar hierarchical organization and that I would not serve in the dissemination of militarist culture into social life.

Since that date, especially taking into consideration the war frenzy that the world has been swept into since September 11, I become more confident with each passing day that I have made a right decision. Because the terror attacks and the ongoing atrocious wars everywhere in the world, including the land we live in, demonstrate that a way of life that excludes violence in its entirety is the only humane solution.

Since armies are the tools for using legitimized violence, they are one of the most important obstacles before a world devoid of violence. This is because militaries owe their existence, their power and sustainability to wars and to the probability of wars. And militaries are, by nature, institutions that produce wars.

For the military, there is no such thing as a state of peace. The periods where there is no armed conflict, are merely intervals where they try to universalize the tyranny they impose onto the society, that is, a time period devoted to preparation for war and fighting against the implementation of peace.

As the ruling classes’ apparatus of violence, the military diffuses the culture of obedience through military service. The individual who becomes accustomed to taking orders and obeying without questions, not only loses her/his independence but becomes an enemy to the idea of independence. What differentiates a human being from a machine or a well-trained dog is that her/his acts stem from his/her individual will. So obeying without asking any questions, is far from being humane, to say the least. Expecting unconditional obedience from someone is equivalent to asking her/him to abandon his/her humanity.

Because I find it important to lead a humane life and as an indispensible precondition of this I feel that all humans should lead a humane life, I declare once again that I will never take orders and I will never give orders. I believe that discrimination and violence are crimes of humanity and in the name of avoiding to commit this crime, I am determined to not be a part of the military which is an apparatus of violence based on hierarchy that imposes such hierarchical constructions  over the society, I am determined to disobey, and refuse to be transformed into a murder machine by taking a training of dying and killing.

I find it tragicomical and protest that, in this building that is placed inside a military barracks, persons who carry military ranks see themselves as having the right to make statements regarding my destiny according to laws that bind them alone. I want the restriction on my freedom to end immediately.
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