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Turkey: Let’s Resist the Spiral of Violence and Militarist Imposition
by Vicdani Ret Derneği
Military coups have brought along human rights violations in every location they have taken place. In every place where the army has taken control by force, the violence has been further institutionalized and the societies who witness the coups have been stuck in spirals of violence. The process we have been living since July 15 night is making us experience a variety of this spiral of violence. On one side military coup scenarios are being put into practice by “Peace at Home Council”, on the other side AKP government’s so called “democratic moves” are on the agenda.
This equation will enable AKP to further centralize the government by gathering the power in one hand and apply the totalitarian methods even more. Later in this process, the law enforcement forces can be controlled directly by the government; fascism and militarism will be more institutionalized under the name of “democratization”.
Yesterday night, the people who were on the streets during the military coup attempt against Erdoğan’s government were rained bullets and countless people were killed. On the other hand, even though the government says that “the coup has been suppressed by the public”, the calls made by the government and the people who have been in the streets upon these calls since yesterday night are a fascist mobilization rather than a democratization move. The sentence “I’m the Chief Commander” which Erdoğan repeated oftentimes yesterday provides a basis for militarism and militarist culture to strengthen even more so.
The soldiers who were under orders in accordance with the obligatory military service law were being declared “heroes” while they were destroying cities in Kürdistan and “martyrs” when they died doing so; on the other hand, the soldiers who got arrested or surrendered after taking part in the military coup attempt under the same chain of command were subjected to torture and lynch on the streets. In the media, there are photos of soldiers whose throats were cut. While the conscientious objectors who refuse to die and kill are being charged with “insubordination”, the soldiers who obey orders of their superiors are facing charges of “high treason”.
During the process we are living through, refusing military service, not taking up arms is of course important; but unfortunately it is not enough. Yesterday night in Atatürk Airport, the people shouting “Kill for you, die for you!”, the politicians saying “Congratulations to who have spilled blood.”; clearly show that a militarist and para-militarist spiral of violence has been set to motion.
Our part in this process as conscientious objectors is not only to refuse obligatory military service and taking up arms but also to resist getting stuck in this spiral of violence and against the militarist imposition.
Vicdani Ret Derneği (Conscientious Objectors Association of Turkey): Let's Resist the Spiral of Violence and Militarist Imposition. July 16, 2016