The government is not considering a new paid military service arrangement, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said Nov. 27, denying that the option expressed by Justice and Development (AKP) deputy head Numan Kurtulmuş via Twitter was under consideration.

“The Defense Ministry is not engaged in preparations to [issue a new arrangement] on paid military service,” Yılmaz said, adding that it was harmful to speak on such steps while officials were seeking ways to draft into service more than 500,000 absentees.

“They are not coming to do their military service because they are waiting for the paid [arrangement]. So we should not talk much about the paid military service, nor the amnesty. Otherwise, those who are thinking of going to military service will think of not going [until an arrangement is made],” Yılmaz said. He also emphasized that Kurtulmuş expressed his personal opinion on Twitter but that the General Staff had the final word on any eventual new paid military service option. […]