Constitutional Court could grant right to conscientious objection: Judge-Rapporteur
ISTANBUL - Radikal
In the case of an individual complaint to Turkey’s top court, the judges might clear the way to introducing an alternative option of civil service to the compulsory military service, the court’s judge-rapporteur Musa Sağlam has suggested. AA photoTurkey’s Constitutional Court could rule to implement in Turkish legislation a provision introducing an alternative option of civil service to the compulsory military service if there is an individual complaint on the matter, the court’s judge-rapporteur Musa Sağlam has suggested.
In an article written to mark the 50th anniversary of the court’s establishment, Sağlam noted that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had already ruled against Turkey for convicting conscientious objectors and more symmetry was needed with the European legislation, daily Radikal reported April 13.
“The Article 72 of the Constitution suggests the possibility for the recognition of conscientious objection, by foreseeing that the national service can be performed in public institutions. However the legislator made the preference that the service should be accomplished in the Army. Therefore, there is only a legal obstacle in front of conscientious objection,” Sağlam wrote.
He also emphasized that in the case of an individual complaint to Turkey’s top court, the judges might interpret the law according to the provision in the Constitution, thereby implying that conscientious objection could be recognized. “In this concrete case, the Constitutional Court could determine the presence of a violation [of the Constitution] and give a ruling overlooking the law.”
Sağlam stressed that the compliance with ECHR decisions was very important for improving Turkey’s image. “Efforts should be made in order to determine [what enters within the scope of human rights] according the European Charter of Human Rights,” he wrote.