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My Reason for Military Service

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Hi everyone,

I have been reading the many post regarding military service and the options people are in search of to avoid completing their service, I feel I need to share my story.

My parents migrated to Australia in 1969, I was only 1 year old, and settled into Sydney. I have spent my whole life in Australia and could only speak limited Turkish, which I learnt through conversation with my parents. After completing High School in 1986 and then college in 1988 I decided, against my parents wishes, to complete my military service - it was 18 months at that time. It was the hardest 18 months of my life, both culturally and mentally. I served as a Communications Sargent.

During my service I learnt what it really meant to be Turkish, I learnt of the pride that our flag carries and the reason why it's red. I learnt the reason why our mothers, our sisters, our elderly and children sleep peacefully at night, I learnt what true friendship means and the value that one match stick can have. I learnt to speak, read and write in Turkish, I learnt to cook and clean, I learnt respect, discipline and honour. I experienced the joy and tears of those whom I was protecting, strangers calling me 'son', restaurants not taking my money for meals (when in uniform) and the pride my family carries to this day.

My fluent English made my service easier, I was assigned positions that were aligned with my skills but 'boot camp' (the first 6 months) was the hardest part. The memories of my time served will remain with me forever, the skills I learnt have shaped me into the person I am today. 

For those who question the reasons for Compulsory Military Service, I urge you to look at the geographical location of Turkey, our surrounding neighbors, their history and our resilience to those forces. Military service shouldn't be compulsory for those who are deemed poor or uneducated, it should be considered an honour and duty for all who have Turkish blood. Consider how Turkey would have been if our military wasn't as strong as it is.

I understand the reasoning for those who do not want to serve and do not judge anyone for their decisions, I simply want to outline my reasoning for completing my service. The decision to complete military service is not an easy decision - it's a life changing choice.

I currently work between Australia and Turkey (with a close friend who I served with) and I'm grateful for having made my decision to complete my military service, I can now enjoy our beautiful country, our hospitable people and our wonderful culture.

Military service is not considered for those who are medically unfit e.g. flat footed, hearing problems, eyesight or ailments that can affect performance, you can also be exempt if you are homosexual, be warned however, if uncircumcised, they will circumcise you in the army.

Thank you for reading my thoughts and allowing me to share them on this site.   

 

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As a veteran of 23 years in the British Forces I can understand exactly how you feel, thanks for posting.

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Me too. I did 21 years in the military. My last assignment was in Turkey, and I'm still here. At Incirlik I would sometimes meet the Turkish soldiers, not the conscripts but the ones who stay in. They are very professional. I had a friend who got called in to military service, and was an officer. When I saw him again, he had much more maturity and confidence in his life. Thanks from me too for posting about your experience, and thanks for your service to Turkey!

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