Conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan arrested

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[ on conscientious objectors facing repression ]

08 April 2005

TURKEY: Conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan arrested

Turkish conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan (TK14724) has been arrested
today at 5am in the morning in a hotel in Basmane, a district of Izmir,
where he went to work at a book fair. He was taken to a police station
and held there until the military recruitment office opened. He was then
brought to the recruitment office, and asked to sign papers to be sent
to a military unit. Mehmet Tarhan replied: "You brought me here by
force. I am a conscientious objector and won't sign anything." He was
subsequently asked to write a statement that he is a conscientious
objector. He replied: "I will not write or sign anything. You brought me
here by force and you should solve the problem you created yourself." As
a result, the former protocol was extended with a supplementary
protocol, stating that he refused to sign both of them. In addition, the
recruitment officers called for their superiors.
Three higher officers appeared on the scene. While Mehmet Tarhan was
until then allowed to sit in the garden and to smoke, he was now
"attached" to a recruit, who was told that his service would be
nullified if Mehmet Tarhan would escape.
The recruitment office also called the police, and requested a squad to
guard Mehmet Tarhan. Three police were assigned to that task.
Later gendarmes (military police) were summoned to take over Mehmet
Tarhan and to bring him to a military training unit in Tokat, to which
he was hurriedly reassigned (he had originally been assigned to a
military unit in Samsun). Mehmet Tarhan refused to cooperate, and was
handcuffed and pushed into a car.
It is not clear where he will be brought. Mehmet Tarhan declared that he
is now on hunger strike.

War Resisters' International is concerned about the treatment of Mehmet
Tarhan, and fears for his health and safety. He is at risk of physical
abuse by the military police.

War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Turkish
authorities, and Turkish embassies abroad. Protest emails should be sent
to the General Staff, email . A protest email can be
sent at .

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of Mehmet

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International
- --
Conscription and Conscientious Objection Documentation
War Resisters' International
5 Caledonian Road - London N1 9DX - Britain
tel +44-20-7278 4040 - fax +44-20-7278 0444

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