Bloomberg News

Turkish Conscientious Objectors May Face Prison, Anatolia Says

June 27, 2012

Turkey may send young men to jail if they decline to do military service for reasons of conscience, Anatolia news agenmcy reported, citing Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz.

Military service is compulsory for all males over 19 years of age, and the European Court of Human Rights has delivered rulings against Turkey several times over its treatment of conscientious objectors, the news agency cited Yilmaz as saying.

The government is working to prevent what the Strasbourg- based court calls “civic death,” or repeated conviction each time a man refuses to do military service, Yilmaz told Anatolia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ercan Ersoy in Istanbul at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at

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