Turkish Military Service

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Mella

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#1
I was reading up about The Turkish Military Service that young men have to do. And the traditions that go with it. I thought it was interesting, because it is so different from my way of life...



  • Military service is deeply rooted in Turkish culture, and is regarded as a sacred duty. Going off to the army is equated with being an honourable and virtuous person. In rural areas in particular, men who have not performed their military obligations are not well regarded, and what they say is not taken seriously.

    The beginning and end of military service, to which Turkish society in general attaches such great importance, is, like the other major landmarks in life, marked with ceremonies. There are regional differences in the ceremonies for sending someone off and welcoming him back. . . .

    One of the most widespread practices all over Turkey is for young men who have received their call-up papers to be invited to dine by all their friends and relatives in turn. The young soldier-to-be mat also be entertained with his family. It is also customary for entertainment to be laid on during and after such celebratory meals.

  • In the province of Kars, such young men visit their relatives in the city and the surrounding villages to bid them farewell, during the course of which they are given gifts of money and pastries to keep them going on their journey.

  • In the village of Kırtıl in Silifke, the evening before young men are due to leave for military service, they invite their male and female friends to their homes and carouse until late. Money, known as ‘good luck money,’ is placed in the young men’s pockets.

  • In the village of Verimli in the Ankara region of Kızılcahamam, elderly men and women say, ‘This is so you should stand guard for me’ as they hand over their ‘good luck money.’

  • During send-off ceremonies at Seydişehir, the women divide the pastries they have prepared into three. One part is thrown into the water as ‘food for wolves and crows.’ One part is wrapped in the young man’s shirt and kept in a chest, and the third part is given to him to eat on the journey. Each time the young man comes home on leave a part of the piece lying wrapped up in his shirt is broken off and given to him to eat. After seeing the soldier off, the women all gather at a fountain and eat. No wooden spoons can be used during the meal, since it is believed that if anyone does so, the young soldier will receive frequent beatings during his time in uniform.

  • In the village of Şükranlı in Eskişehir’s province of Seyitgazi, the young man is made to cut wood in front of his fiancee’s house, if he has one, in the belief that this will help him get used to hardship.

    As well as such farewell rituals as these, which concern a particularly important part of life, there is an equally wide range of ways of welcoming young men home after the completion of their military service.

  • In that same village of Kırtıl the soldier brings henna with him once he has been discharged. On the evening following his arrival back at the village, visitors who come to welcome him back burn the henna, known as ‘soldier’s henna,’ which is meant to bring with it good luck.

    Another matter regarding the performance of military service is soldiers’ letters home, written with great longing and yearning for home. These letters usually begin with greetings, explain how things are going, and end with a tradition quatrain.

    Greetings are extended to all the soldier’s friends and relatives. In the days when communications were not easy and letters were very much the only means available, married soldiers would find it difficult to express their feelings for their wives, who would be staying under their fathers’ roofs, out of fear that other people would read their letters. They therefore resorted to coded verses:

    ‘Go, my letter, go.
    Learn of her and return.
    We are two who once were one,
    Ask her if we are three.


    This is an example of a soldier asking his young wife if she was expecting.

    As well as these letters of general news, there are also humorous soldiers’ letters, generally sent to close friends.

    There is great rejoicing when a soldier’s military service comes to an end and he returns home. Friends and relatives visit him constantly for up to two weeks, and he is treated as a guest in his own home and not allowed to do any work. In some regions the young man is also given gifts during the course of such visits.
 
#2
Turkish culture is so interesting and there is so much respect towards each other!! Wish it could be more like that here!! I couldnt imagine some guys going into the army willingly, in this country!!

Thanks Carmella :cool:
 
#4
I have been realiably informed that if I wish to secure a Turkish passport, I too would have to do Military Service in Turkey for a period of 3 months.
 

**claire**

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#5
merlin said:
I have been realiably informed that if I wish to secure a Turkish passport, I too would have to do Military Service in Turkey for a period of 3 months.
Seriously???!!!

I never knew that!!

would you consider it???

Bit long in the tooth to be doing that are'nt ya?? :p
 
#6
**claire** said:
Bit long in the tooth to be doing that are'nt ya?? :p

Claire - Serious. Was told by our local Muhtur (Important Man in my community)

And as for being a bit long in the tooth, I would only do this 5 star and have my team of 20 yr old nurses in tow and ask to be based in Kusadasi so I could keep an eye on you -

Your Turkish Hotel awaits you Claire, exclusive hillside views and bars literally everywhere. Called a Turkish prison LOL
 
#8
Well depends on which English history you read about.

Anyway, about the Turkish military service. There is also a way to shorten your time there. With money, I don't know how much it is.
Can anybody tell us some more about that?

There are 3 periods of time you can have right?
 
#9
Vladimir said:
Well depends on which English history you read about.

Anyway, about the Turkish military service. There is also a way to shorten your time there. With money, I don't know how much it is.
Can anybody tell us some more about that?

There are 3 periods of time you can have right?
You are quite right Vladimir however, it is frowned upon by money locals. Bit like saying, Ive got money so I can buy my way out, do you understand?

Not sure of the actual costs and tiers, maybe someone else has the info.
 
#10
i agree that we should have to force some of our english boys there lol a few of the lads i mate abt with wouldnt last a day! but i think in england cas its personal choice a lot of people want to go! but often cant get in! like on the radio they have adverts saying 99.9% need not apply! thats not a good attitude!
Also i didnt know u could buy yourself out of going to the army in Turkey!:confused:
and one of my friends murat was born in england his dad is turkish but his mum is english and he still has to go in the Turkish Army i dont understand why. he says he has a turkish passport but he has lived in england his whole life makes no sense to me xxx
 
#11
x0x_JoAnNe_x0x said:
and one of my friends murat was born in england his dad is turkish but his mum is english and he still has to go in the Turkish Army i dont understand why. he says he has a turkish passport but he has lived in england his whole life makes no sense to me xxx
Because he holds a Turkish passport.
 
#12
but he doesnt live in turkey anyway so from my point of view it would be easier for him to have an english one and then he would not have to risk paying a huge sum of money either! xxx
 
#14
Hi, My Dad is Turkish and my Mother Scottish. I've lived here for over 28 years now and have no Turkish passport! I was born in Istanbul, but moved here when I was 2! I'm a full UK citizen and have been since I was three. Is there any reason the Turkish government would be interested in asking me to do military service if I visited Turkey? I've been trying to call the consulate and checked their website, but no luck in getting any contact or info!!

Cheers in advance!
 
#18
hello

you do not need to service for our military. because of NATO agreements if you have two passports from NATO countries when you service for your own military you do not need to do this once more for other country which you are orginated. actually if you have two passports and if you are living in one of those countries, you should be responsible to service in your place.

anyway, if you are turkish and married with someone in other countries, or if you are living in other countries you need to service for turkish military for 1 months and you need to pay money. but if you are turkish , and if you have only one passport or no passport :), and if you have university educatin you have to service for 6 months as private. if you are not educated in university level, means you are in trouble and you need to service for 15 months...

and belive me, moments in military here is not the best times of life :) not everywhere is kusadası or bodrum :).. think about -40 degrees in open areas. i saw this.i felt this.
 
#19
I know!!

I have known mothers to pretend that they have no sons so that they may not enter the forces!!!

People with no birth certificate!!! So that their child can grow up and work on the family farm!!!

Also people are found everyday at the age of 40-70 years old never been to hospital never knowing their birthdays!!

Weird but I understand why!!
 
#20
but very important moments of life indeed. one starts to understand what most important things are. health, love and life... early morning mist and sunrise.snow flakes falling down to your shoulders and waiting for nothing. beauty is there as well if one tends to see it.
 
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