Ülke, the first Turkish CO to be imprisoned, is again
threatened with a 17-months sentence although the military
court decision was eight years ago.
September 1995 Mr Ülke burned his military call-up papers,
saying: “I am not a
soldier and I will never be . . . I will never perform
October 1996-March 1999
he was repeatedly arrested, charged, convicted
and jailed for refusing conscription.
On 9 March
1999 Mr Ülke was released from military prison and ordered
to present himself again to his military unit: instead, he
went home and has since lived a semi-legal life, officially
a deserter, but not arrested.
On 24 January 2006 the European
Court of Human Rights found that: "
The clandestine life amounting almost to “civil death” which
[he] had been compelled to adopt . . . constituted degrading
treatment within the meaning of Article 3 [of the Human
February 2007 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of
Europe “deplored that
the Turkish authorities had as yet taken no individual
measure to put an end to the violation found by the Court."
On 6 June
2007 the Turkish authorities told the Council of Europe that
a draft law to prevent repeated punishment of conscientious
objectors was under way.
Yet on 14 June 2007 the Turkish military prosecutor’s office
ordered Mr Ülke to serve a 17-months sentence. He risks
arrest and re-imprisonment despite the judgements of the
European Court of Human Rights, the Committee of Ministers,
and the (so far) empty promises of the Turkish authorities.
We demand that
the Turkish authorities:
the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights in the
case of Osman Murat Ülke
right to conscientious objection and exempt COs from
End now the
persecution and “civil death” of conscientious objectors
imprisoned Kurdish CO Halil Savda immediately.