0910osm.htmlTEXTR*ch4) Osman Murat Ulke detained 9 October 1996


Osman Murat Ulke was detained on 7 October, 1996, as a result of his declaration of conscientious objection more than a year ago. He is currently awaiting interrogation in Buca Prison, Izmir. Once the interrogation has taken place, the military prosecutor will bring a new suit against him, standing to the Article 155 ("alienating people from military service") in the Turkish Penal Code. The article is used widely against war resisters. It not only violates the freedom of thought and expression, but also prevents the army and militarism from criticism.

It has taken over a year to arrest Osman, even though he has not been in hiding and has continued his everyday life. The written orders of the military prosecutor from Military Court of General Staff in Ankara, leading to his arrest on 8 October, 1996, were dated 5 September, 1995. They were received by the local police station on 1 October, 1996!

Izmir SKD believes that in a country where there is war, and basic human rights are violated systematically as a state policy, a conscientious objector would not be safe in the hands of the state and military forces. Three political prisoners were murdered as a result of state intervention in Buca prison less than one and a half years ago. The Turkish State must be held responsible for any inhuman treatment on Osman Murat Ulke, who is currently residing in that same prison.

Please send protest messages to the following fax numbers.

  • General Staff: + 99 - 312 - 418 53 41
  • Prime Ministry: + 99 - 312 - 417 04 76
  • Minister of Justice: + 99 - 312 - 417 39 54
  • Ministry of National Defence: + 99 - 312 - 324 46 27

    1468 Sok. No.14 Alsancak - IZMIR
    tel: 00-90-232-464 24 92
    fax: 00-90-232-464 08 42
    e-mail: osi@info-ist.comlink.de

    Background Information

    On 17 May 1994, Istanbul War Resisters' Association held a press conference against conscription, which led to the closure of the Association by the state, and the arrest of four people, including Osman Murat Ulke. That trial concluded on 29 August 1995. While his co-defendants were sentenced to between two and six months' imprisonment, Osman was taken to Cankaya Recruiting Office and enlisted as a conscript. The Recruiting Office allowed him to return home for two days to prepare, then requested him to report back on 31st August to the 9th Constable Soldier Drilling Regiment in Bilecik, Bursa.

    Instead, Osman held a press conference in Izmir on 1 September, 1995, International Peace Day. Here he declared his conscientious objection, and burnt his military pass.

    Appendix: The statement of Osman Murat Ulke, 1 September 1996 - the reason for his arrest

    Good day. This press conference has not been organised by ISKD. I am personally responsible for this meeting.

    As you know, the trial in the Ankara General Staff Military Court in which we were accused of "alienating people from military service" came to its conclusion on 29 August 29.

    The Chairperson of the closed-down Istanbul SKD, Arif Hikmet Iyidogan, was sentenced to six months in prison, university student Gokhan Demirkiran to four months, Mehmet Sefa Fersal to two months. I have been acquitted. But, during the trial, and although it was not related to the matter of the trial, the judge asked if we had gone to military service. As I admitted I had not, I was taken to Cankaya Recruiting Office.

    The Army, unable to overpower us through jurisprudence, now deems necessary to distance the war resisters from public opinion with such an act.

    Before all I am not a draft evader, but a conscientious objector. I neither think to escape nor to go to conscription. I have no reason to escape conscription, because I am in favour of people using their right not to be conscripted without having to hide.

    According to the papers given by the Recruiting Office I am recognised as a conscript and it claimed that I should go to the 9th Constable Soldier drilling Regiment in Bilecik, on 31 August. As you see, I have not gone, I am here. Even though I cannot be called a draft evader, I consider it meaningless to go of my own accord. On the contrary, here and now, I will burn this Military Pass against which my own will rebels. In addition, I will burn the notification paper and give back the rest of the documents to the state by mail. Perhaps they will need them. Also I will send back the 101.000 TL that was given to me by the ankaya Recruiting Office for transportation and food expenses.

    I am not a soldier and I will never be. Of course I am aware that I will be taken by force. But until I am taken, there will be no change in my daily routine. they can find me here in order to take me by force. But I want to stress that I will resist in the barracks until the end and never perform military service.

    Osman Murat Ulke
    September 1, 1995

    Osman concluded his speech before the verdict on 29 August 1995 as follows:

    "Our aim is not that conscientious objection become law: conscience cannot be restrained by laws. Our cause is to activate the self will-power of individuals against the war machine which clearly has no conscience."

    Osman's original declaration of objection, 1994

    In view of my deepest convictions and way of life, it is impossible for me to take part in military service or any other compulsory service. Furthermore I refuse to acknowledge any kind of hierarchical authority. In my opinion the army is the clearest form of institutional power, which makes it a personal enemy I seek to combat and destroy. This is why I consider conscientious objection as the first step on the path I have to follow to preserve my self- esteem.

    Turkey is based on an authoritarian culture that pervades all dimensions of life at work, in the private sphere, and -- especially strongly -- the political arena. It is therefore not surprising that a large part of the population turns a blind eye to the war that Turkey is currently waging and continue in their way of life. The myth perpetuated about the role of soldiers as protectors of their country and fellow citizens from the outside enemy has turned them into one of the most commonly used instruments of oppression in their own country. I cannot say how big a difference I and those who think like me can make, but I do know that no coercive measure will ever force me to become a soldier. hhFTorino Outline 0910osm.htmlmTEXTR*chTEXTR*ch)%QChiles%Q DW 560C GX %QIcon H Monaco@z eo{o`(@(@R*chHH /0A{,, ,-^&'Monaco  HelveticaM Confidential HhhFɴ/FMPSRBBSTL