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    SOME RECRUITS IN TURKMENISTAN TO SERVE IN CIVIL INSTITUTIONS

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    ASHKHABAD, March 2 (RIA Novosti) - About 100,000 people are annually ready to be called up for service in the Turkmen Armed Forces. Only 70,000-80,000 out of them go to the armed forces, the rest being sent to serve in the national economy, said Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov speaking at the ceremony of unveiling a new building of the Military Institute in Ashkhabad.

    In his words, for two years now, part of recruits have been sent to civil institutions to serve. They've been working in agriculture, industry, medical institutions, on transport, for instance, as trolley bus drivers, railway train attendants. Recruits must be 18, but if they wish, they can start serving at 17.

    The Turkmen leader said people recruited for active service and working in the national economy have to study military disciplines for one week each month and have practice in the Military Institute. The new building of the institute was built for two years by a Turkish company and cost $20 million.

    Mr. Niyazov said the Military Institute will be divided into two parts soon: a department to train armed forces specialists and a department to train specialists for the national security ministry and border guard service. A new building will also be constructed by a Turkish firm.

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