Turkish judge criticizes mandatory military service in verdict
ISTANBUL - Radikal
Conscription in Turkey is compulsory to every man of Turkish nationality over the age 18. A judge issued heavy criticism of mandatory military service in a verdict delivered on July 31. DHA photoA judge issued heavy criticism of mandatory military service in a verdict delivered on July 31.
In the justified decision of the “fake certificate of disability for discharge” case released by Istanbul’s 11th High Criminal Court, the judge stated that conscription was “drudgery and worse than slavery,” while adding that soldiers suffered both psychologically and economically.
Conscription in Turkey is compulsory to every man of Turkish nationality over the age 18. Men serve between six and 15 months in military posts to which they are appointed.
The justified decision stated that the system had been installed in such a way that even men who were married and had no one else to look after their family were sent to far away military posts, which only allowed them to reunite a few times throughout the conscription period. It said this situation had led to a greater suffering than estimated both psychologically and economically.
“In our case, some have to join the army as if they are abandoning their child. The monthly salary the state gives to these private soldiers amounts to … drudgery and is worse than slavery, because one cannot afford his own needs, let alone look after his kin,” read the justified decision.
It also stated that no big changes had been made in the conscription law since its enactment in 1927 and that it had taken place in tougher conditions compared to various European countries. The spaces in which soldiers are accommodated and the food they are served are beneath standards, it said.
The justified decision also contained pieces from Dr. Salih Akyürek’s book “Conscription and Professional Military,” including opinions from experts, quotations from newspaper columns and examples from different countries.
The “fake certificate of disability for discharge” case, which included retired military judge Ahmet Zeki Üçok, who is being held in custody in the Balyoz case, was concluded on April 4, in which six of the 17 inductees had been acquitted and the rest had received different levels of punishment.