Turkey expects to raise US $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion in extra funds to finance procurement through a fee men can pay to avoid conscription, officials said.

In December, the Turkish government announced a plan to raise billions of dollars for defense procurement through a conscription exemption fee. The plan exempts from military conscription all Turkish men older than 28 as of Jan. 1 who pay a lump sum of 18,000 Turkish lira (US $7,579). Turkey requires every male citizen over the age of 20 to serve five to 12 months in the military, depending on his education.

Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said Jan. 24 that as of Jan. 22, nearly 113,000 Turks applied to benefit from the system. More than 600,000 qualify for the scheme, but a Defense Ministry official said the final number is likely to fall between 150,000 and 200,000. That means the government will collect between $1.2 billion and $1.6 billion. […]