The Initiative for Conscientious Objection

in Cyprus (north)

General Aims, Principles and an Open Call


The initiative works to support and solve the problems of all persons that see militarism as an obstacle in front of peace, democratization and establishment of a truly civilian administration. It further adopts the slogan "our duty for our homeland should be 'peace' and conscientious objection should be our right".

The initiative struggles for abolishing of laws that consider any anti-militarist stance as "alienating the public from military service" and therefore, illegal. There are no conditions that justify the right of conscientious objection -- which is a defence of life -- to be considered a subject of prosecution by the militarist establishment. It is also against the military court system which even the soldiers do not deserve, and works for its abolishing according to the principle of a single rule of law.

It works to establish the right of conscientious objection in the constitution itself, as it is now considered a "basic human right" by the modern civilization. The compulsory military service in Cyprus should be re-organized according to the European Union norms and United Nations advisory decisions. We demand that the 74th article of the constitution of the administration of the northern part of Cyprus which defines compulsory military service as "a duty to the homeland" of all citizens is changed to include a clause to the effect that allows the right of conscientious objection. For clarity, we call it to be amended as indicated in bold (following the example of the constitution of Germany):

National Service: Article 74

(1) National service in the armed forces shall be the right and sacred duty of every citizen. However, no person shall be compelled against his conscience to render military service involving the use of arms.

(2) Conditions relating to national service shall be regulated by law

The initiative does not accept violence as a means to solve any conflict; neither does it accept its promotion as such. It refuses compulsory military service in general.

The initiative supports all individuals who refuse military service regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, nationality or political views. It works against the male-dominated mentality and works to overcome the military establishment's inhumane stance towards the gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT). It works together with LGBT organizations and groups towards this goal.

It asks all individuals under arms who see their opponents as friends/brothers rather than enemies, to refuse the militarist orders as unacceptable and to "keep the guard of peace instead of the conflict". It embraces those individuals and calls them to join our ranks.

It sympathizes and supports the plight of thousands of individuals who could not, did not and will not be able to do military service. They are now considered as "deserters" and are punished to live a "civilian death" while the youthful, most productive part of their lives is stolen from them. It works to regain the rights of individuals who did not turn themselves in for military service and are therefore now in self-imposed exile.

It will organize activities to inform the public about the truth regarding the right of conscientious objection to overcome the present misinformation campaigns.

We call everyone to join "The Initiative for Conscientious Objection in Cyprus (north)" to face the reality of the system, the war and those in power to establish the right for conscientious objection.

This call is for everyone without any discrimination of gender. To all those who lost a piece of themselves by sending their children to wars in Cyprus, those young people who could not see a bright future due to the prospect of a military service, those in exile away from their homeland, in summary to everyone who suffered due to militarism.

This is a call to face all obstacles and to organize against wars, aggression, occupations and militarism in general.

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