London, 1 November 2014 Türkçe
THE 5TH ARMY CORPS MİLİTARY COURT JUDGESHIP ÇORLU
London Turkish embassy email:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org; Fax (00 44) 20 73 93 00 66
We have been alerted by activists from Turkey and the organisation War Resisters International in the UK about the case of Mr Ali Fikri Işık, a 56-year-old man repeatedly incarcerated for his refusal to join the army dating back to the military dictatorship in the ‘80s.
He declared himself a conscientious objector in 2012 and faces trial on 5 November under three more charges of “desertion”.
The fact that you may even consider jailing a man of 56 for refusing to join the army is scandalous in itself, but we want to remind you that he is the latest in a long list of conscientious objectors, notably, among others, Mr Mehmet Tarhan, Mr Mehmet Bal, Mr Osman Murat Ülke and Mr Halil Savda, all of whom have been imprisoned, and almost all tortured while in military prison and for whom we campaigned together with their organisations and supporters from Turkey as well as from Germany, Greece, Israel, the UK and the US.
May we also remind you that the Council of Europe has repeatedly found that “Turkey has [not complied] with [its] judgement urging [it] to adopt legislation that would prevent repetitive prosecutions and convictions of those who refuse to perform military service for conscientious or religious reasons on grounds of persistent disobedience of military orders.” See for instance the Council of Europe Resolution CM/ResDH(2007)109, referring to the case of Mr Ülke. Both Mr Savda and Mr Ülke won their cases against Turkey in the European Court of Human Rights.
In particular the European Court of Human Rights refers to the “civil death” to which conscientious objectors have been subject in Turkey during various periods of their lives. This means being deprived of documents like ID and passport, which prevents them from getting employment, opening a bank account, getting married, travelling abroad, etc. Mr Işık suffered this “civil death” for 20 years.
In conclusion, we believe that any conscientious objector in Turkey must have the right to refuse to kill without being threatened, harassed, persecuted and sent to jail under any circumstances, even less so when he is 56 years old.
ALI FIKRI ISIK, NO CASE TO ANSWER!
Yours in urgency,
Payday men’s network
Ali Fikri Işık