Wandering Heart

What to expect from Turkish soldier boyfriend

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I met a Turkish man online and we have been "together" for 4 months.  He is a permanent soldier (not doing compulsory service) and seems to be moved around a lot.  Sometimes in Istanbul, sometimes in Hatay or Syria border.  We want to spend some time together in person to get to know each other.  And take the relationship to the next level if things work out.  He says he can't talk much about his job.  I understand that he may be in sensitive areas and this would be normal for a military man.  

I know his finances are limited and I don't care.  I can manage the costs of the holiday.  Between air miles and the low cost of living in Turkey it is no more expensive for me than anywhere else I would travel to.  I am very well traveled and have been to Turkey before.  I have also dated Muslim men before and have no issues with anything there.  

The problem seems to be him getting time off work with enough advance notice so we can plan a holiday together.  I would need a minimum of a week to organize it, preferably 2 weeks.  Yesterday he asked me to come to Turkey in 3 days but I can't get things organized that fast. 

What is the arrangements for Turkish solders to get time off?  How far in advance are they given leave?  If they are given leave, can it be cancelled without their permission?  Meaning the army doesn't let them have the time off?  How many days a year do they get?

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According to a Turkish friend of mine who is retired from the Turkish military, soldiers get 40 days of leave every year. They also get days off, those depending on what job they do. If they work in an office, they would get time off on weekends. But if they work shifts, it depends on the shift. They may work a number of days then have a number of days off, which doesn't correspond to the days of the week.

Leave has to be applied for. One can apply for leave any time, but it doesn't mean it will be approved by the commander. Leave is always approved or disapproved by the commander.

If it is a long leave, some advanced arrangement needs to be arranged because someone else will have to fill in for a while. If it is a short leave, like one day, tomorrow, it can be approved depending on the workload at the time. And it will also depend on the workload at the time.

Leave can be canceled if there is a military necessity.

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Ken, thank you for your reply.  I was thinking one was active here.  He was given 4 days leave with around 5 days notice.  I wanted to go there so badly but couldn't get it together with plane ticket and money for the trip on such short notice.  

He spends most of his time near the Turkish-Syria border which is very nerve-wracking for me.  He can use his smartphone and we use WhatsApp a lot.  
He won't tell me exactly what he does.  I think it is something sensitive.  

He said he is a Commander.  But obviously he has to get approval from someone higher up.

I am happy to go to Hatay if he can come home to me at night but he says they "don't go home".  So I guess he lives on a military base?  And he is not allowed to leave when he is off duty?

Why do men take these jobs?  It seems like a really hard life!

 

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At least in the US military, if you're on a deployment, as he is, an operating base is your home, perhaps for six months or so. After your deployment you go back to your regular base. Then you may go back again. Obviously if he can't tell you where he is, the you can't go there. The operations tempo is typically intense, and the work day is quite long. In a sense, you are never "off-duty."

Quote

Why do men take these jobs?  It seems like a really hard life! 

If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand. :)

 

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He is a Turkish soldier in the Turkish army so probably very different from the US Army.  I just wish they would send him back to Istanbul.  He was there when I first met him, then he was sent to the border.  He has been there a few times so it is a regular thing for him. 

I was serious in my question.  I may have had a somewhat comfortable upbringing and no one in my family is military.   I know Turkish men have to do 1 year compulsory service.  My boyfriend has been in the army for around 8 years I think.  I don't like to talk finances with him as I don't want him to feel bad that I am financially better off than he is.  I have no idea what he makes and how much of it he gets to keep (if the army pays for his room and board at the base).  His brother recently also joined the army.  Do Turkish men do this because they can't find other jobs?

Is it better pay than other jobs?  Because they give up a lot in lifestyle.  He can't even travel overseas!  Not allowed to leave the country.

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