Military service to be reduced next month, Turkish Deputy PM says
"Starting from next month, privates who served for at least 12 months will be immediately released," Deputy PM Bülent Arınç told reporters on Oct. 15. AA photoDeputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has announced that the legislation reducing the duration of compulsory military service from 15 to 12 months will be introduced next month.
“Preliminary studies on this issue have been conducted for a while. I think it will be legislated within the next month. Starting from next month, privates who served for at least 12 months will be immediately released. New conscripts will serve for 12 months accordingly,” Arınç told reporters on Oct. 15.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan revealed on Oct. 4 that a study was ongoing on the issue of shortening military service.
The General Staff announced the following day an agreement had been reached with the government to shorten the compulsory military service of male citizens from 15 to 12 months, adding the duration of the short term military service - to which university students can apply - would remain six months. If the plan is enacted before the start of the New Year, nearly 280,000 soldiers of the 379,352 who are currently serving in the army will benefit from an early discharge, according to the new regulation.
Around 40,000 soldiers, who have completed 12 months of military service, will be discharged as soon as the legislation is approved by Parliament and published in the Official Gazette.
In 2012, the General Staff began to implement a new system to fight against terrorism by forming and assigning special teams of professional soldiers to conflict areas. A 50,000-place capacity was created for the post, however only 1,500 professional border troops were appointed due to the low level of applications.
“Professional army” members were offered a monthly salary of 3,100 Turkish Liras and an additional 7,000 liras of compensation for every year they serve in the military.
Refusing the obligatory military service due to conscientious objection is illegal in Turkey and punishable with imprisonment by law.