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antimilitarismus 28.12.1996 

Latest News 27.12.1996, 18:00

Here are the last news concerning Osman Murat Uelke, who was to be tried in military court today. Bart Horeman, from the Netherlands, who together with Albert Beale (from the United Kingdom) was in Eskisehir as an international observer for the trial, reports:

"Today, 27.12.1996, 14 hrs (Turkish time), Osman Murat Uelke was tried before military court in Eskisehir. The charge was "continuous (or 'repeated') disobedience (Art. 87 of Turkish military Law). Osman could not claim that his conscience did not allow to obey, because according to art. 45 of Turkish Military Law this cannot be used as a reason for disobedience. All Turkish people were allowed to enter the military area to attend the trial. The two international observers (form the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) were not allowed because they allegedly needed a permission to enter the military area. The trial was postponed to January 30th, 1997, and according to the procedure, Osman was sent to the recruitment office in Eskisehir. At 16:30 (Turkish time) Osman arrived at the office, awaited by sympathisers. He was handed out a call-up and money to report himself to the commander of the 9th Gendarmerie in Bilecik the same day, and could leave the office freely.

After this the support group and Osman decided that the release of Osman shall not be mentioned to the press before 28.12.1996, 9 hrs (Turkish time). At 9.00 hrs there will be the announcement for a press conference that will take place at 11.00 hrs in Istanbul at the IHD office. Osman will be there, as well as many others, including Bart Horeman and Albert Beale."

We were able to speak very shortly to Osman on the telephone, and he gave the following statement:

"Well ... I am still very confused. Of course this is the very last thing I ever expected to happen. But well, my conviction is still the same. As I said one year ago, I am not a soldier and never will be. I will not report to the barracks, nor will I flee. If the military want to take me, they will have to come and pick me up."

We expect to get an update tomorrow after the press conference.

That's all for now.

Anton Luccioni
Marc Stolwijk

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