Being a conscientious objector is perhaps the most challenging way to question authority in Turkey -- a traditionally militaristic country where militarism is embedded not only in state organs but also in the culture, reports Today's Zaman website in Turkey.
Refusing to serve one's compulsory military service means you will be jailed and possibly subject to physical torture. It also means that you are probably leftist or an anarchist or an adherent to some other left-wing ideology shunned by the state.
Enver Aydemir -- dubbed "Turkey's first Muslim conscientious objector" -- was arrested on December 24, 2009. He was taken to the Maltepe Military Prison, where his family and lawyers say he was tortured. Aydemir is 35 and is married with two children.
Aydemir, a devout Muslim, refuses to serve in the military because he feels the secular Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is anathema to his religious beliefs, making him the first conscientious objector in Turkey who has put forward religious grounds as his reason for not completing his military service.