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Turkey’s paid exemption from military service system begins

Will the new paid military service waiver program be Turkey’s last?
Turkish army officers stand at attention during a ceremony marking the 96th anniversary of Victory Day at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in Ankara, Turkey August 30, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC173FEBAEE0
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Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar recently discussed the new paid conscription program colloquially known as “bedelli askerlik,” which roughly translates as “paid military service,” with the state-run Anadolu Agency. A law passed in July granted a one-time opportunity for men to complete their compulsory military service in just 21 days if they pay 15,000 Turkish liras (about $2,840) before Nov. 3.

Akar said 634,415 men had applied for the program, in which 37 classes will serve through February 2020. The program has processed three classes since August.

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