Some Turkmen School Leavers Drafted Before Completing Exams

Youngsters who have completed high school and turned 18 are being called up for military service in Turkmenistan. Some schoolboys in the eastern city of Turkmenabat have already received their call-up papers. They have to report to the draft boards for dispatch to army units before they’ve even had chance to take all their school-leaving exams.

At an enlistment office in Turkmenistan

The first exams in Turkmen language and math were held on June 1 and 5 respectively. There are two more still to go (depending on the class’s stream, they are chemistry/biology, physics/computing, English and social studies), but the conscripts won’t be able to take them.

“I know personally at least two guys who were planning to go to university. They studied hard and hired extra tutors, one for physics and another for Russian, but they’re heading for the barracks, not the lecture hall,” a observer in Lebap region reported.

Their parents will receive their high school completion certificates.

It’s a similar situation in Ashgabat. Radio Liberty’s Turkmen Service reported on June 6 that the draft boards are pushing teachers to hurry up and give the conscripts all their school marks.

The spring call-up was announced in Turkmenistan on March 20. previously reported several instances of students studying abroad who returned home for the winter vacation but were not allowed to leave the country to continue their courses because of a ban imposed by the Ministry of Defense. The young men received their call-up papers instead. Moreover, guys who had earlier had the draft deferred on health grounds were summoned to the medical boards. observers in Ashgabat put this pursuit of conscripts down to a personnel shortage in the armed forces and the threat to Turkmenistan’s southern borders.