Usterci, Coskun

Usterci, Coskun

Coskun Usterci

13 August 2011Feature

In 1979 Coskun Üsterci began a prison sentence, of which he served nearly 12 years. During his imprisonment he moved from belonging to a leftist political group which advocated armed struggle to becoming a strong advocate of nonviolence. Here he talks with Andreas Speck about his prison experiences and the current struggle against isolation cells.

Coskun, you were imprisoned for almost 12 years, from 1979 to 1991, when the rest of your sentence was changed to a suspended sentence. What was important for you in prison and where did you get your strength from ?

The most important source of strength was my belief in being right. But this wasn’t a blind belief. I was objecting to exploitation and human rights violations. I desired democratic and economic development in our country. These were quite simple demands, compared to…

3 December 2001Comment

Coskun Usterci and Ferda Ulker reflect on the War Resisters' International annual Council meeting and antimilitarist seminar and workshops which took place in Turkey in September.

The War Resisters' meeting may have had two parts - Council and seminar - but most of the themes discussed throughout the week were common to both: anti-militarism, conscientious objection, nonviolence, women in the anti-militarist movement, feminism, and the gay and lesbian movement.

The Council meeting of the War Resisters' International (WRI), which takes place in a different country each year, lasted for three days, followed by four days of seminars and workshops which took place…

3 December 2001Comment

I was attending a Council meeting of the War Resisters' International (WRI) for the first time and I thought, as many participants did, that the council meeting would be an opportunity to discuss our views, particularly in light of the threat of war.

But the discussions about this during the council meeting were short, due to a lack of time, and I was disappointed that it was mostly financial and administrative issues that were discussed. While this was how I felt then, I realised…