Conscientious Objector Osman Murat Ulke From Further
Kurdish conscientious objector Halil Savda is out of jail,
having served a six-month sentence. He still faces the
possibility of another fifteen and a half months. Despite
spending two months in solitary, Mr Savda is resisting all
attempts by the Turkish military authorities to "break his
To: Turkish & European Parliaments
Ahmet Necdet Sezer, President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey
Abdullah Gül, Foreign Minister of Turkey
Jean-Paul Costa, President of the European Court of Human
Vuk Jeremic, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers,
Council of Europe
RE: CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR OSMAN MURAT ÜLKE – the first
Turkish conscientious objector to be imprisoned for refusing
military service – is again threatened with a 17-month prison
sentence following a military court decision over eight years old.
· 1 September 1995 – Mr Ülke burned his military call-up
papers, saying: “I am not a soldier and I will never be . . . I want
to stress that I will resist the barracks until the end and never
perform military service.”
· October 1996-March 1999 – Mr Ülke was repeatedly arrested,
charged, convicted and jailed for refusing to be conscripted into
the Turkish army.
· 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.
· 24 January 2006 – The European Court of Human Rights found
that: "The numerous criminal prosecutions . . . together with the
possibility that he would be liable to prosecution for the rest of
his life . . . The clandestine life amounting almost to ‘civil
death’ which [he] had been compelled to adopt . . . constituted
degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 3."
· 13-14 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, the applicant still being subject to an arrest warrant
with a view to the execution of his sentence."
· 6 June 2007 – The Turkish authorities stated to the
Deputies meeting of the Council of Europe that a draft law to
prevent repeated punishment of conscientious objectors was under way
and that this law would also “remedy all negative consequences for
the violation for [Mr Ülke]”.
· 14 June 2007 – The military prosecutor’s office ordered Mr
Ülke to serve a 17-month sentence.
Mr. Ülke is now at great risk of arrest and re-imprisonment despite
the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights, the Committee
of Ministers, and the empty promises of the Turkish authorities.
WE THE UNDERSIGNED DEMAND THAT THE TURKISH AUTHORITIES:
· Comply with the judgement of the European Court of Human
Rights in the case of conscientious objector Osman Murat Ülke;
· Recognise the right to conscientious objection and exempt COs from
military service, and ;
· Immediately end the persecution and “civil death” of all
conscientious objectors in Turkey.
International Petition co-sponsored by: Connection e.V., DFG-VK (German Peace
Society - United War Resisters), Global Women’s Strike, Greek
Association of Conscientious Objectors, Payday men’s network, War