Man detained in western Turkey years after refusing military service
AYDINLGBTI activist Mehmet Tarhan, who refused to serve in the Turkish military in 2001 but was forcibly drafted in 2005, has been detained on a charge of “defying military law” in the western province of Aydın, according to a message posted on his Twitter account.
“I was detained at the entry of Aydın a couple of minutes ago being told of a detention warrant issued for me over the charge of ‘defying military law’ and am being taken to the Aydın Police Department,” Tarhan posted on his personal Twitter account early Sept. 17.
Tarhan had been previously arrested for “disobeying orders” and was sentenced to 15 months in prison and a 9,000-Turkish Lira fine.
Tarhan refused to serve in the military in 2001, but was forcibly drafted in 2005.
Two separate lawsuits were filed against him afterwards, over a charge of “disobeying orders,” and he was allegedly exposed to mistreatment during his time in a military prison after his arrest.
Although Tarhan refused to serve in the military, he was forced to undergo a medical examination, in violation of the constitution and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), because of his sexual preference.
Tarhan had been on hunger strike for 28 days at the time, and the ECHR found Turkey guilty in the case.