CHP plans to shorten compulsory military service

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) promised to shorten compulsory military service in its electoral manifesto announced on Saturday. 

Meanwhile, CHP’s presidential candidate Muharrem İnce provided details of the changes they planed for compulsory military service during a television program in Tek Rumeli TV, Habertürk reported.

“This is a model that foresees transition to professional army, in which everyone will serve in the military for two months, and then decide to stay in the army or work as a public servant, receiving minimum wage,” İnce said.

Military service in Turkey is compulsory for all male citizens between 20 - 41 years of age, except for those who are handicapped, mentally ill, or have poor health unfit for duty.  The duration of the basic military service is 12 months for elementary or high school graduates, 8 months for university graduates, and 6 months for those who have a university degree and have not been enlisted as reserve officers.

İnce said that under such a model, there will be no need for paid military service regulations that have been used in the past several times by different Turkish governments especially in times of economic crisis to raise additional resources.

Earlier in May, prime minister Binali Yıldırım said during a television program that his government was considering a new paid military service regulation. However president Recep Tayyip Erdogan later said that paid military service was not on their agenda.