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Turkish Parliamentary Commission Accepts Paid Military Exemption Bill

Turkish Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission passed a draft bill on paid military exemption proposing 21 days of military service for those who pay 15,000 TL.

After weeks of political wrangling and heated public debate, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) submitted the paid military exemption bill to Parliament last week.

According to the initial version of the bill, aspirant candidates who seek to avoid compulsory military service would be able to only serve up to 21 days after paying 15,000 Turkish Liras. They are also required to be at least 25 years old.

For Turkish expatriates abroad, the bill demands at least 2,000 euros for payment.

The issue saw back and forth efforts on behalf of the ruling party, which first adamantly rejected any consideration for the paid exemption bill, but later reversed its policy.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also signaled a potential introduction of the bill in the late phases of the campaign in the prelude to the June 24 elections.

“After the election, we will sit down with the Chief of General Staff and Defense Minister and if they say this is appropriate, if they deem it necessary, then we will pave the way [for such a measure] without delay,” he previously said, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

The amount of the days for the military service in the new bill became a matter of political controversy. The initial version of the bill proposed 28 days of service for those who fit the requirements. It was later reduced to 21 days.

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