Only 1.500 apply to special army post
ANKARA - Hürriyet
There are some 1,500 professional border troops in the army currently. Hürriyet photoTurkey’s General Staff has begun to implement a new system to fight terrorism by forming and assigning only special teams of professional soldiers to conflict areas. There are some 1,500 professional border troops in the army despite a capacity of 50,000, daily Hürriyet reported yesterday.
According to the report, applications were below expectations although applicants accepted to the army are 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.
Despite the lack of soldiers, those on mandatory service are no longer to be used in field operations in the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), according to the report.
A law adopted by Parliament in March 2011 states that candidates to become professional soldiers must first sign a pre-contract agreement in order to receive military training. Those who successfully graduate from training then sign a contract for a three to four-year term of employment. Consecutive contract agreements for those who have already been employed can extend this term from one year to up to three years. Contracted soldiers will serve for a maximum of 10 years in total.
Around 45,000 people have been killed on both Kurdish and Turkish sides since the PKK began a fight for autonomy in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984. The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.