İbrahim Kaya was born in 1982 and he's a freshman Sociology student at Middle East Technical University. However, he cannot enroll to the school because Ministry of Defense sent a letter to The Council of Higher Education (YÖK) and The Council of Higher Education sent it to universities.
According to this letter, male students completing 29 years of age have two options in order to enroll or to re-enroll in a school: joining the army for 15 months or paying 15.000 TL as the first installments of the paid military service and getting the related document.
The letter sent by Ministry of Defense relies on the Law No. 1111, Military Law, Article 35/C which exists since 21.06.1927:
"Those who are understood to be studying in a military school,or middle school, or high school, or higher educational institution where attendance is mandatory by laws and regulations or in a university or a vocational school or in a private foreign school or school abroad whose equivalence to the schools stated above has been approved by the Ministry of National Education (Postponement for such persons shall continue until they reach the age of 29 at the latest. Those who have not completed their education by that age or those who fail to pass their classes [i.e. class examinations] for two consecutive years, or those who enroll in another higher education institute or join a branch of specialisation, or those who enroll in another faculty after have already graduated from one, shall not be left to the following year, but shall be made soldiers immediately. Provided that the said students continue their studies regularly, their enrollment in such work activities as the civil service, other obligations, art, trade, or agriculture after school hours shall not hinder their being left to the following year)."
However, this law was not applied for years and there were no obstacles for men over the age 29 during the enrollment process.
Kaya met with the Vice- Chancellor when he learned about this new enforcement. Initially the Vice Chancellor said "Such an enforcement cannot exist. This should be something in between you and soldiers. I can do nothing if they catch you in the street, however we'll enroll you in the university. This is our obligation." However he changed his mind after he read the letter.
METU Registrar's announced that there are approximately 250 students facing the similar situation.
"As no one is dismissed from school any more, the government and Turkish Armed Forces are trying to take precautions in this way or they are trying to canalize people to paid military service. The Registrar's Office said they would prepare a bulletin and inform related people. If people are not aware of this situation, they will face a big surprise in the next period" says Kaya.
What had happened?
At the beginning of the fall semester, 450 people at Yıldız Technical University had the same problem. First they couldn't enroll in the school. When this problem was heard through media and the students said they'd apply for the paid military service, they could only enroll for the fall semester. There's also an age limit for the MA and doctoral students; this limit was 32 for MA students and 35 for doctoral students but then it changed to 35 and 38. There were no arrangement for undergraduate students. (IC)