Turkish Parliament approves paid military service bill
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
The motion for the implementation of paid military service was approved by Parliament at 3.00 a.m. on Dec. 10. AA PhotoA government motion for the implementation of a paid military service exemption was approved by Parliament early on Dec. 10.
Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz admitted during the General Assembly session on Dec. 9 that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had clearly expressed its disapproval of paid military service exemptions, but defended the bill as necessary.
“It is better [for paid military service] not to be implemented, but there is a social fact. If there is a demand for this, our request from you is to not allow the lower limit for the age and price to be too low,” Yılmaz quoted the TSK as saying.
He also added there was no plan to turn the system completely into a professional military service, saying the ideal was a “mixed system.”
Professional military service might be unavoidable in the future if the General Staff is not able to provide the necessary number of personnel because of an aging population, Yılmaz also said, underlining that the population growth rate was dropping in Turkey.
The bill exempts those who are over 27 years old from compulsory military service in return for a payment of 18,000 Turkish Liras, as of Dec. 31. The money collected from this exemption is to be used to finance the country’s defense industry.
Those who previously were suspended from using the right for paid military service are also able to benefit from the law if they comply with the age condition.
Men of any age who were excused from military service due to health problems will also be able to benefit from the law.