A draft proposal which includes significant amendments to the definition of military service and the mission of the Turkish Armed Forces, and contains a motion for every one of its 43 items involving Article 35 of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) Internal Service Act was passed by the General Assembly on Friday, despite objections by parliamentarians from the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
According to the items accepted by the General Assembly, the mission of the Turkish Armed Forces which previously was, "The Turkish Armed Forces is responsible for protecting the Turkish soil, Constitution and the Republic of Turkey," has been changed to "The Turkish Armed Forces is responsible for protecting the Turkish soil against external dangers or threats, for providing the protection and strengthening of the armed forces to ensure deterrence, to perform missions abroad assigned by Turkey's Grand National Assembly and helping to maintain international peace."
With the resolution that stipulates amendments to 18 different laws, the definition of 'Military Service' has also been altered. The previous definition of military service was, "To learn and be obligated to conduct the art of war in order to protect Turkish soil, independence and the Republic." The definition has now been amended to simply, "Military service is learning the art of war and being obligated to conduct it."
The nationalist opposition party MHP objected to the removal of the phrase "protecting Turkish soil" when it comes to the definition of military service. MHP Group Deputy Chairman Oktay Vural argued, "In the constitution it says the military is a service to the nation, therefore this article contradicts the constitution. My son does not serve his military service to learn the art of the military; he goes to serve the nation. This cannot be. Do not remove the Turkish nation from the definition of military service in the Assembly."
This is a translation of an article originally written by Safure Canturk.