It is widely known that the military service in Turkey is compulsory for male Turkish citizens between a specific age with some special exceptions such as disability, disease etc. This military service has a vital role in Turkish history and culture and has always been deeply appreciated and honored. Even celebrations are organized for a soldier to be candidates by their close relatives and friends when they receive their call-up letters. On the other side, there are currently works in progress to lift the obligation.
However, what about foreigners who became later on Turkish citizens?
According to the declaration made by the Department of Recruitment attached to the Ministry of Defense, “…immigrants not recognized by law and foreigners becoming Turkish citizens, realize their military service in which age they are on the date of naturalization like other privates in the same age…” and “…those who are from a Turkish origin and citizen of another country, are exempted from military service when they become Turkish citizens if they are over twenty-two years old…”
This means that you are evaluated according to the group of age you are part of. Turkish male citizens are called for the military service on the age of twenty-one. So the group of 21-year-old males is the February group. If you, in this situation, are 22 years old or more on the date you are accepted for Turkish citizenship, you are exempted from military service.
This case is valid if the exempted persons have become a Turkish citizen by marriage. However, those in the immigrant status are evaluated according to the date they entered Turkey and are held responsible for military service if the date of entry was before the age of 22. For instance, if you have entered Turkey in an immigrant status at the age of 20 and have become a Turkish citizen on the age of 30, you are obliged to make a military service as you were under the age of 22 when you entered the country.
Apart from that, if you have recently become a Turkish citizen and had completed your military service in your home country, you can again be exempted from military service if you have an official document proving that you have realized the military service in your country. However, this law covers the Turkish republics of Azerbaijan, North Cyprus, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tatary, Crimean Tatar Autonomous Administration, East Turkestan – Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, Bashkortostan (Bashkortostan) Autonomous Republic and Bulgaria, Western Thrace and Meskhetian regions where people of Turkish origin are found.