Amendments to the Law no. 3269 on Specialist Sergeants

First of all, in order to fill vacant positions, increases were made to the service age limits. Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Interior were given the power to approve the recruitment of specialist privates and sergeants, and the General Staff’s authority to approve staffing was taken away. Later, various amendments have been made in issues such as transition of specialist sergeants to noncommissioned officer. Another change to the law enables specialist sergeants, who could previously serve until the age 45, to serve until 52 (Executive Decree 676 Article 64).

A temporary clause added to the law stipulated how the Article 4, paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Executive Decree 667 will be applied to those “specialist sergeants whose contracts were terminated due to their membership, connection or relation to the ‘Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization / Parallel State Organization’ (FETÖ / PDY) which is deemed to be a threat to national security” (Executive Decree 676 Article 65). The paragraph 2 stipulates that they will not ever again be employed in public service directly or directly, whereas paragraph 3 stipulates that their firearm and pilot licenses will be canceled, they will abandon any public housing within 15 days, and they cannot work for any private security company.

An article added to the law gave those specialist sergeants who have completed their seventh year in service but have not past their tenth year the right to the apply to the next exam -after the publication of the amendment- for transition to noncommissioned officer status in case they fulfil the other requirements outlined in article 15 (Executive Decree 678 Article 19). The previous text stated that they had to have completed their fourth year in service but not past their eighth year.

Another amendment to the law gave the authority to approve the recruitment of specialist corporals and sergeants to the Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Interior. The old text designated the General Staff as the institution in charge of approving staffing. Furthermore aside from the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Interior was also added to the law text since the Gendarmerie General Command and Coast Guard Command have been subordinated to the Ministry of Interior (Executive Decree 681 Article 60).

Due to the separation of Coast Guard Command from Turkish Armed Forces (Executive Decree 681 Article 61) and the closure of military hospitals, changes were made to the wording (Executive Decree 681 Article 62). In transitions from the position of specialist sergeant to that of noncommissioned officer, the General Staff no longer has the power to select the sergeants who have graduated on their own behalf from a faculty, college or vocational college. Plus, the expression “Schools designated by the force commands, Gendarmerie General Command or Coast Guard Command to which the noncommissioned officer vocational colleges are subordinate, and approved by the General Staff” was removed, so that it is now enough to be a graduate of high schools or equivalent schools. Furthermore the obligatory service periods of those who have transitioned from the position of specialist sergeant to that of noncommissioned officer has been increased to 15 years (Executive Decree 681 Article 63).

An amendment removed the expression “if required by the General Staff”, from the phrase that used to read “if required by the General Staff, primary school graduates who have received a certificate of high achievement in classes, disciplines and fields that necessitate specialization” can be appointed as specialist sergeants (Executive Decree 681 Article 65).

Most recently, an amendment has been made to the same law, specifying that individuals who were discharged less than 5 years before or regular soldiers younger than 28 can apply for specialist sergeant positions. Previously these figures were 3 years and 25. Furthermore, in the same article on acceptance to the position, various changes were made concerning the basic rights of specialist sergeants. (Executive Decree 696 Article 63)

Amendments to the Law no. 3269 on Specialist Sergeants