In Lebap velayat, in eastern Turkmenistan, the autumn conscription season began on October 1, 2023. In this regard, a week later, on October 6, representatives of the military registration and enlistment office tightened measures for sending young citizens to compulsory military service. The young people who were previously given summonses were warned: if they do not appear at the military registration and enlistment office voluntarily, the police will take them away and hand them over to a military unit. And those who have more money and want to defer service for six months will require a bribe of 500 US dollars.
Let us remind you that compulsory military service in Turkmenistan is mandatory. Conscription into the army and transfer to the reserve occurs twice a year: from April to June, and from October to December.
Categories of conscripts with health problems must go to the Turkmenabat city hospital. But they only offer free space in a hospital bed, and everything else: medicines, food at the citizen’s expense.
“The government is not even able to provide treatment to a citizen who will serve the state for two years,” a source familiar with the situation told Radio Azatlyk.
Along with the current situation, corruption is rampant in military registration and enlistment offices. For young people who want to defer their service for 6 months, they are billed with a bribe of 500 dollars, and for those who want to send their child to better conditions in the army, the price tag is 200 dollars in bribe. Also, in order to place a child in the service in his hometown, according to anonymous sources, the price tag for a bribe can even reach 7 thousand dollars. In addition, the authorities are now trying to take children from school into the ranks of the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan immediately after graduation. What is causing this rush is not clear.
It’s no secret that serving in the army of Turkmenistan is increasingly reminiscent of a horror film. Indeed, in addition to problems with providing soldiers, interruptions in food and the provision of medical services, hazing, cruelty towards soldiers and violence occur in military units, which seriously injures or completely deprives military personnel of their lives. But why do we need an army that returns home not a soldier ready for service, but a person with a disability?
Government reports consistently include expenditure items on logistics for the army and improving the living conditions of soldiers, but no one mentions the real problems faced by military personnel in military units. It’s even scary to imagine what the dictatorial regime will offer to anyone who dares to voice these problems publicly.