Declaration Against War of VR-DER - Conscientious Objection Association, Turkey
"VR-DER: Leave Your Units, Refuse The War"
Although nobody remembers in today’s war conditions, it shouldn’t be forgotten that there had been a state of cease fire between the state and PKK, which started in the Newroz of 2013 and lasted for more than two years. After a period of clashes, while Erdogan was talking in public meetings before the 2015 June elections, saying “Give us the 400 (seats), (so that) the issue is settled peacefully” as the head of state; HDP election campaign had the slogan “we will not let you become the president”.
After the elections of June 7, AKP could not come to power alone and in the period between two elections, it used the temporary government in its hands to drag the country to a totally different atmosphere: Political oppression, state terror, and finally war.
Along with the curfews, the state started clashing inside the streets almost like an army of occupation, and still going on with an inhuman attack beyond any war. The state, which claims to be a state of law and has to respect human rights, terrorizes the region by providing some faceless units with “spray paint”, guns and unlimited license to kill. Official channels of the state report another massacre every day; the extrajudicial executions made are normalized by “this number of terrorists have been neutralized” reports. Making all areas where operations are made, totally closed to press, and cutting any contact of the people living in the area; the state prevents the truth to reach the public through the media which it has taken totally under control; also attacking with gas, buttons and bullets to the people who go out to the street to have a voice against the massacre; trying to intimidate the people with arrests and new murders, and thus render the society ineffective against the current war.
Whereas any state purporting to be a “state of law”;
· Cannot start a clash that jeopardizes public health and peoples’ lives, or be a party in such clashes;
· Cannot prevent the access of press to the area of conflict or restrict the press or restrict the people’s right to communicate and access to information;
· Cannot in any circumstances block people’s access to vital resources like drinking water and food, sanitation, facilities like water and electricity;
· Cannot do operations, going beyond the purpose of capturing and intending to kill even on armed militants;
· Cannot prevent health services to reach wounded people even if they are armed militants, let alone do operations in places with wounded people and do executions.
In short, the state; is bounded with the constitution, laws and international treaties that it signed, and cannot violate these and go outside jurisdiction. We are calling the state to immediately, at least obey its own law, and demand the following steps to be realized without losing time.
· Curfews must be ended immediately and all operations in the cities must be stopped immediately;
· The logic of operations with the sole intent of “killing” must be abandoned;
· Obstacles in front of the press must be lifted; communication channels of the people living in the region, which were destroyed, should be working and open;
· All obstacles avoiding people’s access to food and sanitation must be lifted;
· All obstacles preventing health services to the wounded and the sick, without discrimination of civilian-militant;
· The practice of evacuation and forced migration of some districts and city centers should be abandoned immediately.
As conscientious objectors against all kinds of wars, conflicts and armies, war resisters and anti-militarists, against this war that is escalated each day by the state, we are calling young people who are called for draft to exercise their right of conscientious objection and not join the army. Emphasizing that it is a human right to refuse to kill and be killed, and that this right also applies to people already in the army, we are calling everyone who is continuing their obligatory military service, to object to kill and be killed, default any orders outside law, leave their units in order not be part of these massacres and lay down arms.
CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION ASSOCIATION