According to the daily, when the students applied to military units requesting a document showing the deferment of their military service for the duration of their studies they were turned away and informed they would be conscripted due to their age.
Compulsory military service applies to all male citizens between 20 and 41 years of age in Turkey. Those engaged in higher education or vocational training programs prior to their military drafting are permitted to delay service until they have completed their studies or reach a certain age.
A circular sent by the Ministry of Defense to the Higher Education Board (YÖK) in January states the deferral of military service by those over the age of 29 will no longer be permitted, and that affected students will be required to complete their qualifications following their military service.
According to Radikal, the new regulation has become the subject of heated debate among students across Turkey's 167 universities.
When İbrahim Kaya, a sociology student at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, applied to the university administration to update his registration on May 14 he was informed students over the age of 29 cannot have their registration updated without having completed their compulsory military service.
“The university wants a document from me showing that I completed military service for my registration in September, but I did not perform military service. How will I get this document? In this case the university will not register me. As the affected students, we applied to Parliament for a solution, but our efforts have proved futile,” Kaya informed the daily.