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Military service is deeply rooted in Turkish culture, and is regarded as a sacred duty. Going off to the army is equated with being an honourable and virtuous person. In rural areas in particular, men who have not performed their military obligations are not well regarded, and what they say is not taken seriously.
The beginning and end of military service, to which Turkish society in general attaches such great importance, is, like the other major landmarks in life, marked with ceremonies. There are regional differences in the ceremonies for sending someone off and welcoming him back.
One of the most widespread practices all over Turkey is for young men who have received their call-up papers to be invited to dine by all their friends and relatives in turn. The young soldier-to-be mat also be entertained with his family. It is also customary for entertainment to be laid on during and after such celebratory meals.