Turkey’s coffers drying: Military service cut by half, reduced even more, for a fee

The Turkish parliament on Tuesday ratified a new military service law, which cut mandatory military service by half.

Accordingly, military service has been dropped to six months from 12 months and paid military service, a reduced service in exchange for a fee, has become permanent.

A total of 335 lawmakers of the 600-seat parliament approved the law, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Under the new law, those seeking paid military service will undergo a month of military training and be exempted from serving for the rest five months in exchange for 31,000 liras ($5,371).

Men over 18 in Turkey are required to fulfil military service. The option of paying a fee to reduce or waive the required service was temporarily introduced from time to time.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier this year had vowed that paid military service would be made permanent.

Up to 100,000 men currently serving their mandatory military service are expected to be discharged when the law goes into effect, independent news site T24 said.