Due to a shortage of conscripts those unfit for military service are drafted into the Turkmen army

About 20 new recruits from Mary and Lebap velayat who were called up for military service a month ago have been admitted to Ashgabat military hospital.

They had been previously assessed as unfit for military service. However, in order to fulfill the draft plan to enlist conscripts, military commissioners are drafting sick young men, according to correspondents of Chronicles of Turkmenistan.

Parents of one of the young men who was admitted to the hospital said that medical assessment reports on the health condition of conscripts made by previous medical commissions had disappeared.

If a young man is disabled he is given a white card (military service exemption certificate), but if he is diagnosed with some chronic disease or medical condition, which are theoretically curable, he may be deferred for a year or six months. This information is recorded in medical records by the medical commissions, the father of a recruit said.

Yet, this year the previous medical assessment records were not found in the archives and the son was pronounced fit for the military service. As a result, in less than a month he ended up in hospital.

A resident of Lebap velayat reported that in the autumn his son was declared 80% unfit for military service but in May he was drafted to do military service in Balkan velayat.

He was soon admitted to Ashgabat hospital and doctors were surprised that he had been drafted at all. Our acquaintances, who are in a similar situation, paid a bribe of 2600 manats to get their son transferred from the military unit in Balkan to Mary. In this way he will be close to his home and his family will be able to pay frequent visits, the man said.

Ashgabat military enlistment offices are unable to complete the draft by recruiting school graduates, university students, the majority of which are based in Ashgabat and at the expense of studyabroad students who come home for summer holidays, to be drafted into the army directly from the airport. It is much more challenging for military enlistment offices in the provinces to execute the draft plan and for this reason even those unfit for military service are called up.

In the majority of cases there is no youth of callup age in the rural areas, let alone workingage population, as all of them are employed in Turkey or other countries.

Endemic unemployment, a shortage of vacancies in higher and secondary vocational educational establishments, difficulty with employment of even specialists holding diplomas, and corruption urge young people to leave their home country and become migrant workers. As a result, Turkmenistan cannot draft the required number of conscripts.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan