01: There are not many conscientious objectors in Turkey (although the numbers are said to be rising), but 33-year-old Enver Aydemir is one such dissenter who refused to serve due to his Islamic beliefs.
Already arrested and detained a first time in 2007, Aydemir was rearrested in late December and is considered to be the first person in Turkey to give religious grounds for refusing to serve. This “Muslim objector” does not want to be called a “conscientious objector,” yet a collaboration has nevertheless been developing between supporters of Aydemir and anti-war activists, who are mostly on the political left and sometimes atheists.
A Facebook group created to support Aydemir, with more than 3,000 members already, has been launched by a Turkish anarchist and gathers people of diverse ideologies. Both Turkish and international human rights organizations—such as Amnesty International—consider Aydemir as a prisoner of conscience.
(Hürriyet Daily News, Jan. 11)