Turkish conscientious objector in military lockup

After his demand for political asylum was rejected by the Republic of Cyprus, Turkish conscientious objector Onur Erdem was deported back to Istanbul via Jordan on Thursday, July 11th. He was arrested after his appearance in the court and transferred to military prison in Kasimpasa Naval Base in Istanbul.

Davut Erkan, a lawyer from the Conscientious Objection Association (VR-DER) reports after his meeting with the objector:

“Conscientious Objector Onur Erdem’s demand for political asylum was rejected by Cyprus, he was deported and returned to Turkey. As he had been charged for desertion by Military Prosecutor of Gallipoli (Gelibolu) with an arrest warrant, he appeared in the Office of Kasimpasa Military Prosecutor. There, he was decided to be brought to Gallipoli in custody. Now he’s in Kasimpasa Military Prison, and expected to be transferred to Gallipoli in two days. There he will appear in court, and possibly he’s going to be arrested and face a lawsuit. Until now, all the conscientious objectors in Turkey faced torture and abuse under arrest. It is the same for Onur Erdem too, and we are worried about this. All people and institutions who are conscious about the subject, must make a response immediately . ”

Onur Erdem declared his conscientious objection in March 2011. Previously he served in the military for 3 months in 2006 after which he deserted and imprisoned several times. He still has standing imprisonments for his desertions.

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