Turkey moves to shorten military service for police officers

Military service is compulsory for all men in good health in Turkey.

Turkey moves to shorten military service for police officers

World Bulletin / News Desk

The term of military service will be shortened to six months from 15 months for police officers who have graduated from police vocational high schools and to three weeks from 12 months for police chiefs who have graduated from the Police Academy, if a bill approved by the Cabinet passes in Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Çiçek announced on Monday.

Speaking to reporters late Monday after a Cabinet meeting, Çiçek said the government has finalized a long-expected bill on the term of military service for police officers. “There are currently 36,213 police officers who have not performed their military service and 2,202 police officers who are currently conscripts. We have reached a conclusion regarding this issue that concerns 38,415 people. In fact, Turkey's need for policemen is increasing. The number of policemen per capita is low in Turkey when compared with the European average. I hope, this bill becomes law soon and the problem is addressed,” Çiçek said.

Military service is compulsory for all men in good health in Turkey, and the length of service depends on one's level of education as well as the military's needs. Currently, university graduates with a four-year degree serve either for six months as a private or a year as a second lieutenant, depending on what is needed, while those who do not have a four-year bachelor's degree are obliged to perform 15 months of military service. Policemen are also conscripted in Turkey. While those who had graduated from the Police Academy used to serve for 12 months for the military, graduates of police vocational high schools performed a 15-month military service.

Police officers were long expecting a law that would exempt them from military service on the grounds that they are a part of the security forces. Although the government does not plan to exempt them from military service, the government's move to shorten the term of military service for them has also been favorably received among police officers.

According to the bill, a police officer who benefits from short-term military service has to serve in the National Police Department for at least seven years after completing his military service. If he quits his job before the end of that seven-year period, he is sent back to the military to complete the rest of the military service.

Çiçek noted that the Cabinet also took up another bill that would enable the partial transition to a professional army with the employment of thousands of salaried soldiers in the military. Stating that the bill has some shortcomings, Çiçek said it would soon be completed and submitted to Parliament. According to the bill, 50,000 soldiers will be employed in the first phase, to be selected from a pool of applicants who are at least elementary school graduates and who have performed their 15-month compulsory military service.”

Last Mod: 04 Ocak 2011, 15:51
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