Price for Refusing Military Service: Civil Death
30-year-old Kocaoğlu was doomed to civil death after his ID was seized ten years ago when he refused to complete his military service. He is not able to work, to marry and claims not to be able to receive medical treatment at hospital.
Necip Fazıl Kocaoğlu deserted from the military ten years ago. He was detained in military prisons five times. Kocaoğlu lives in Kayseri (central Anatolia). His ID was seized ten years ago. The first half of the past ten years he spent in and out of military prisons. During the last five years he experienced what it means to be sentenced to "civil death".
Kocaoğlu deserted after he had served eight months in the military. He claims to have deserted seven times in total. Kocaoğlu pays the price for refusing military service with being doomed to civil death. In other words, he cannot work, cannot earn money, he cannot marry and claimed not even to be able to get medical treatment at hospital.
"Living as a civil dead man..."
Kocaoğlu depicted his situation in an e-mail sent to bianet. He explained that since the seizure of his identity card by the military authorities he has not been able to work or to benefit from medical services.
"I have been living in one room for ten years. After all that time I want to get rid of this kind of life".
Kocaoğlu wrote that he did not want to spend another summer as a "civil dead man". He is living together with his mother and sister and although he is the only one who would be able to work, he is not able to get a job because he has no ID.
"You are being executed while watching life"
In a letter sent to the internet platform savaskarsitlari.org ('opponents of war'), Kocaoğlu asked, "Will you give me my right in this world or after death?" He added:
* I have been a deserter since 2002. For this reason, I was not able to get any job; I was not able to marry. We cannot pay the rent because my family is very poor. I am facing distraint procedures.
* I was not able to live my twenties. I am thirty years old now. I was able to do eight months of military service. I could not stand it and deserted seven times. They tyrannized me.
* I have been at home for the last five years. I can leave the house only once in three to five months. I became ill but I cannot go to hospital.
* I have no wife and no friend. I have been forgotten. I am punished again. When and by whom and to how many other people was that done? You tortured me. You are killing me.
* For ten years I have had no work, no money, no wife. I am like a civil dead man. In many other countries people like me are not being treated the same way. Maybe they are being executed but that would be done immediately. You are executing me by letting me live and watching life. (EKN)
Kayseri - BIA News Center
15 March 2012, Thursday