Turkey approves bill on paid exemption from military service

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish parliament early on Wednesday, November 30, approved a new bill on paid exemption from military service, which enables men 30 years old and over to skip military service in exchange for TL 30,000.

“The Bill Amending the Law on Military Service” was approved at 5:10 a.m. following talks that lasted 12 hours. According to the bill, men born before Jan. 1, 1983 who have not yet completed their compulsory military service can opt to pay TL 30,000. Those who wish to be exempted must apply and complete their payments within six months. The money will go to a bank account under the name of the minister of family and social policy at Ziraat Bank.

Applicants can either pay the full TL 30,000 up front or half the amount at the time of application and the rest of the sum within six months. Those who pay will be completely exempted from military service, receiving no basic military training, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said while speaking at his party's group meeting in Parliament on Nov. 22.

The revenue obtained from the military exemption offer will be spent on social services to provide for the relatives of those who died in the fight against terrorism, veterans, the handicapped, families in need whose sons are serving in the Turkish military as enlisted personnel and to former members of the gendarmerie and the Security General Directorate who were disabled while on active duty, the prime minister added.

The bill also simplifies military service for Turkish citizens living abroad. Provided that they have been abroad for at least three years, Turkish citizens living abroad can pay 5,000 to 7,500 euros, depending their age, and come to Turkey to serve a shortened 21-day military service. According to the new law, they will be completely exempted from military service in return for 10,000 euros, regardless of age.

The bill will now be examined by President Abdullah Gül. If he approves it, the new system will go into force, Today’s Zaman reported.

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