The Turkish Parliament has passed a motion allowing the military to conduct cross-border raids into Syria.
Some 320 deputies cast votes in favor of the motion, while 129 voted against it.
The Turkish Parliament debated a cross-border motion brought by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, daily Hürriyet has reported.
Members of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have decided to vote against the motion following a group meeting in the early hours of the day, according to sources.‘This motion will allow for a world war’
CHP member Muharrem İnce criticized the recent motion, saying it would enable the AKP to wage a world war.
"This motion has no limits," İnce said. "You can wage a world war with [the motion]."
İnce also opposed the closed nature of the session.
"Why would you hide this from the people? Will it be your children that go to war? People are not going to know why they have sent their children to war," he said.
"The border of the motion is unclear. It calls for the Armed Forces to send forces to foreign countries. Who are these countries?" İnce added.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) members said they would defer to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). "In order to reinforce Turkey's positioning, we are in favor of defering to the government on the cross-border motion for the Turkish Armed Forces," said the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party's (CHP) description of the government's Syria cross-border operation mandate as a “war mandate” is to be condemned, ruling AKP Deputy Chairman Ömer Çelik has said.
“This is not a special mandate of the AK Party, this mandate is about the sovereignty rights of the Turkish Republic,” Çelik said.
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Deputy Group Chairman Pervin Buldan said the party would say “no” to the cross-border operation mandate and criticized the closed session for the discussion of the mandate in Parliament. “If you will pick a war with Syria, you are going to send the poor children of Anatolia to the war and nobody will know about it.
The public will not be aware of what is being discussed here," Buldan said.
“Issuing a bill to authorize military operation does not mean declaring a war. It could make a deterrent effect. Issuing the bill as soon as possible would be beneficial for that. If the disturbance [Syria caused on the border] gets worse, Turkey could take action,” retired Gen. Armağan Kuloğlu said.
Speaking during a trip to Akçakale, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Sezgin Tanrıkulu said: “This is very close to the border, so it should be evacuated. The state only granted about 300-400 Turkish Liras in financial aid for [the residents of the region] to move to safer places. These people must be protected and kept away from the conflict zone.”
“All military targets have been hit by the shells. After this point, the process is down to the reaction of the opposite side [Syria]. They have now taken the lessons that they should have taken,” AKP Ankara
Deputy Yalçın Akdoğan said.
Regarding opposition criticism of the mandate text, Akdoğan said: “There is nothing saying we have to go to a war in the text. The criticism of the opposition is political. Everything is clear in the text."
AKP Deputy Group Chairman Nurettin Canikli said there was an armed attack toward Turkey undetaken by the Syrian goverment. “Everybody needs to define their side. Are you on Turkey’s side or on the side of cruel al-Assad? Are you on the side of al-Assad, who has been shelling his own people including children? You need to make a decision on this.
Nobody in the Turkish Grand Assembly can defend the policy of a country who attacked this country [Turkey]. Our duty is to defend our country,” Canikli said.
By the way, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said he doesn't believe the ongoing incidents between Turkey and Syria will end in war.
Yıldız was speaking to reporters while attending the opening of the 5th International Energy Congress and Fair in Ankara.
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Here is the text of the government motion introduced to the Parliament speaker’s office and signed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to be voted on at an extraordinary session of Parliament today.
“The negative impact of the ongoing crisis in Syria on our national security, as well as on regional stability and security, is increasingly being seen.
"As part of the military operations being conducted by the Syrian Arab Republic Armed Forces, starting from Sept. 20, aggressive actions have been directed against our country’s territories too. These actions have continued despite our repeated warnings and diplomatic initiatives. Aggressive actions directed against the territory of our country are on the threshold of an armed attack.
"This situation has reached a stage that poses serious threats and risks to our national security. Therefore, the need has developed to act rapidly and to take the necessary precautions against additional risks and threats that may be directed against our country. Within this framework, on the condition that the extent, amount, and time will be appreciated and determined by the government, I submit according to Article 92 of the Constitution a one-year-long permission to make the necessary arrangements for sending the Turkish Armed Forces to foreign countries and having it [TSK] mandated, according to the principle causes that will be designated by the government.”