Conscientious objection ‘not on our agenda’
Defense Minister Yılmaz says compulsory military service will not change. DHA photo
There are no plans to give conscientious objectors the right to reject military service, even though the country’s deputy prime minister hinted at alternative public service for pacifists, the defense minister has said.
“Conscientious objection is not on Turkey’s agenda. There is a compulsory military service in Turkey and will continue to be,” Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz told reporters in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas, according to Anatolia news agency.
He said the only amendment the government was planning would address a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, which has condemned Turkey over repeated prison terms given to mThere are no plans to give conscientious objectors the right to reject military service, even though the country’s deputy prime minister hinted at alternative public service for pacifists, the defense minister has said.en who reject the compulsory draft. The bill will “reduce the penalty to one,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, however, said the day before that conscientious objectors would be offered the option of a public service equivalent to or longer than the term of military service, Anatolia reported.
“There are examples of that in Europe. They [the objectors] work either in health services or education. Such nice options should be offered to people with a more sensitive conscience. Hopefully, we will make such an arrangement for them soon,” he said in Antalya.