Source: Sebahat Tuncel, “Soru Önergesi,” “Parliamentary Question,” 3 May 2012, http://www2.tbmm.gov.tr/d24/7/7-7088s.pdfThe Grand National Assembly of Turkey Peace and Democracy Party No: 992 Date: 03.05.2012
To the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Speaker’s Office:
I request that the Minister of National Defense Mr. İsmet Yılmaz provide written replies to the questions I hereby submit, in accordance with the 98th bylaw of the Constitution and the 99th bylaw of the Standing Orders.
Mandatory military service has been abolished in nearly every European country, yet it continues in Turkey today. Many youths are against the mandatory military system for conscientious, political or belief-related reasons, by objecting to militarism or due to their sexual orientation. The right to object to mandatory military service is included in international agreements and it is recognized as a “right” in law. However, such objection is still viewed as a crime in Turkey. Those who suffer most in relation to this are young men who wish not to serve in the military due to their sexual orientation. Unlike the respect they receive in democratic countries, in Turkey, those with different sexual orientations are considered to have “character disorders.” They are subjected to pressure and othering by the state and multiple sectors of society.