Support Conscientous Objector Mehmet Tarhan
(Facilitator: Balam Kenter)
Mehmet Loves Peace /Baris

Mehmet Tarhan is a conscientous objector, gay rights activist, an anti-militarist and an anarchist from Turkey. Mehmet declared his conscientous objection in 2001 because he believed that wars can only be stopped by drying out the human resources thereof.
He was arrested April 8, 2005, and taken from his hotel at 5 am to the military unit in Tokat to be forced to do compulsory military service. there he refused signing any papers, wearing a uniform and getting his hair cut. He was then arrested on the charges of "disobeying orders" and sent to Sivas Military Prison to await his trial, where he has been systematically abused by inmates who were manipulated by prison authorities. They beat him and tried to lynch him on his first night, and they have been threatening to kill him and getting money from him, asking his sister to buy them suits and phone cards. Mehmet suffers from bruises on his face and neck, cracked lips. He was unable to walk for days after the first beating. also difficulty in breathing from the blows he received to the chest.

The antimilitarists in Turkey and War Resisters International began an international campaign for Mehmet called Mehmet Loves Peace /Baris with the support of LGBT organizations. Baris means peace in Turkish, also a common male name. And Mehmet coincidentally is a male soldier name. To empahsize the convergence of antimilitarist and queer movemens.We had several rallies in different cities in Turkey, sent protest faxes and emails to authorities. There have also been actions in Greece and Germany. We went as a group to Mehmet's first trial to show our support. We are doing our best to inform the media and concerned groups here and elsewhere. Right now we are very concerned about our friend's well-being. The abuse continues behind closed doors and in a legal loophole. Mehmet has another trial this thursday, May 25, 2005. Please send faxes to the numbers below, especially the military prison, to show that Mehmet is not alone. We know from previous examples that a single fax is sometimes more effective than a protest rally because it reaches the people who are "in charge of" what happens to Mehmet.
Every fax makes a difference!

Sivas Military Prison
Fax: + 90 346 225 3915

Head of Chiefs of Staff:
Fax: + 90 312 425 0813

The Ministry of Defense:
Fax: + 90 312 417 6386

Office of the Head of the Republic:
Fax: + 90 312 427 1330

Office of Prime Minister:
Fax: + 90 312 417 0476
Geographical Scope: International
Added on 05-24-2005
Updated on 05-24-2005

JasonHizerWest Virginia08-20
ReedTurchiNorth Carolina10-31

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