Turkish parliamentary commission approves criteria for paid military exemption

Published 23.07.2018 00:00
Updated 23.07.2018 21:00
emIHA Photo/em
IHA Photo

The Turkish Parliament's Planning and Budget Commission Monday approved certain articles on a military exemption bill, enabling Turkish citizens to carry out their mandatory military service in 21 days.

The commission approved a proposed regulation by the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) to set the period of basic military training to 21, seven days shorter than the initial proposal of 28 days.

According to the regulation, Turkish men aged 25 or older, born before Dec. 31, 1993 to be exact, will be able to be exempt from military service of 12 months after paying 15,000 Turkish liras ($3,141).

This short enlistment term distinguishes it from previous practices of paid military service where applicants only needed to pay the fee and were not obliged to serve even for one day.

Proponents of paid military service claim the conscription derails their budding careers. Many who campaign on social media are university graduates and complain that serving a short period of conscription [12 months for high school graduates and six months for university graduates] should be replaced with an exemption to boost the economy.

AK Party spokesman and Istanbul Deputy Mahir Ünal said the program was cut short for applicants to minimize the duration of their time away from work. The beneficiaries will be on unpaid leave during their military training.

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