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Conscientious Objection to Military Service: International Human Rights Law and the Case of Turkey

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The assessment of claims of conscientious objection to military service under freedom of religion or belief provisions has been an evolutive process in international human rights law. In Turkey, the right to conscientious objection to military service is not recognized, nor is there a specific punishment due for non-performance of military service on grounds of religious or philosophical beliefs. Military service is compulsory for every Turkish male citizen. The article in hand aims, firstly, to provide a survey on the status of the right to conscientious objection to military service in international human rights law and to propose a harmonizing interpretation that would allow for the evaluation of cases of conscientious objection under relevant provisions protecting freedom of religion or belief and secondly, to evaluate the Turkish legislation in relation to conscientious objection to military service and highlight human rights issues that arise due to a lack of legal regulation on conscientious objection to military service.

Affiliations: 1: Åbo Akademi University Finland


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