The right to conscientious objection and Turkey

Since the early 1990ies until today the conscientious objectors (CO) have been subjected to a number of human rights violations because they refused to do military service. Military service for 15 months is compulsory for men aged 19-40 in Turkey. The right to conscientious objection is not legally recognized, and there is no alternative civilian service for conscientious objectors. International human rights standards recognize the right to conscientious objection. However, Turkey has not accepted the right to conscientious objection that international human rights mechanisms have accepted as a basic human right. This has opened the door widely for human rights abuses against COs. The Human Rights Agenda Association (HRAA) accepts the right to conscientious objection as a human right has prepared this paper as a reaction to the oppression of COs with the aim to make a general evaluation and information on conscientious objection.

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