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It was first proposed when I was serving. We had some bad moments then we thought this will legally affect the following generations of conscripts. That is, instead of different service terms, all conscripts will serve for 12 months. This means those, who are not college graduate and thus serving for 15 months will have a 3 months shorter period. On the other hands, the choice for those of us, college graduates, who opted to serve for 5 months will disappear. Universal service time is proposed to be 12 months. While many European countries had already discontinued mandatory military service, Turkish Army wants us to stay in barracks even more. On the one hand this is a populist decision: Making masses of non-college graduates happy by offering 3 months shorters, on the other hand, this is a strategic choice. More and more people are now college graduates and Turkish Army may have difficulties to find longer-term conscripts. Many Turkish males just go to university to have the right to serve shorter.

Interestingly enough, this proposal which has to be approved by the Parliament does not get as much reaction as I expect. This plan will give the Army a heavier hand over educated masses. The military increasingly loses its hegemonic grasp over society and this new service plan will be a tool to get some of the lost back…

[CROSS READER] Debates over conscription end in disappointment

Hundreds of thousands of youngsters in Turkey who were looking forward to an announcement by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) that would pave the way for a professional army rather than one in which all healthy men are required to serve at some point in their lives have once again been disappointed.

Listen, General Başbuğ by Ahmet Altan

In a disrespectful and arrogant fashion that by far overstepped the boundaries of good manners, you accused us of “treachery” and of being “worse than the armistice press.”

PM, chief of general staff look to professionalize Turkish military

from Hurriyet Dailynews
The prime minister and the country?s top general agreed Friday on measures to professionalize the military.

ŞAHİN ALPAY – Why Turkey needs a professional army

?Military service exemption via payment? is one of the strongest demands rising from society today. There was no result from a meeting on this topic between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the chief of General Staff last week.

Debate over who should bear burden of arms in Turkey heats up again

from Hurriyet Dailynews by ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
With PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ set to meet late Friday to discuss the idea of re-instituting a system of paid military service, politicians, military figures and young men eligible for duty debate the idea’s virtues. Some say having a professional army would strengthen Turkey and boost its economy while others argue that it is a dangerous, and politically motivated ploy

Erdoğan, Başbuğ to discuss Turkish military service

from Hurriyet Dailynews by ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
The debate over paying to reduce military service obligations is expected to be resolved Friday during a meeting between PM Erdoğan and top general Başbuğ.

DOĞU ERGİL – Military service under scrutiny

Alright, let us admit that there?s not a dull moment in Turkey. But is every development useful and meaningful? The new debate is on paid exemption from military service. Of course, this is a euphemism in that you pay not to perform your ?debt to the motherland.?

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