CHP, HDP oppose ISIL motion, MHP likely to approve

CHP, HDP oppose ISIL motion, MHP likely to approve

CHP, HDP oppose ISIL motion, MHP likely to approve

Turkish soldiers patrol as Islamic militants fight Kurdish forces to the west of Kobani, Syria, on the border near Suruc, Sept. 30. AP Photo

Two opposition parties have announced objections to the motion authorizing the Turkish Armed Forces to conduct cross-border operations in Iraq and Syria and allow the deployment of foreign troops on its soil. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), however, is likely to vote in its favor due to national security concerns.

“What we see is an unclear mandate, a motion [that includes] graver [measures] compared to the March 1 [2003] motion,” Gürsel Tekin, deputy leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), told reporters on Oct. 1.

On March 1, 2003, a motion introduced by the government allowing the deployment of U.S. troops in Turkey and deploying Turkish troops in Iraq as part of Washington’s military campaign against Baghdad was refused. Motions for military action must be approved by at least 276 votes to pass in the Turkish Parliament. 

Tekin said the final decision will be provided following an in-depth analysis of the text, but hinted that the CHP was unlikely to vote in favor of the motion.     

“It’s disrespect to Parliament and to opposition parties to inform them at the last minute,” he said, drawing attention to the difference between the statements issued by the president and the prime minister on the motion. “This is not a motion, it’s an omnibus motion. The government is asking for a limitless motion.” 

Tekin also recalled that there was no U.N. resolution to establish security zones, which is part of the government’s plan. “There is no compatibility with international law in this motion. The Turkish army is not an occupying army,” he said.

CHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Head Akif Hamzaçebi, meanwhile, drew attention to the motion’s reasoning. “On the Iraq’s part, the need to protect the territorial integrity of Iraq is emphasized. But we do not have the same sensitivity with regard to Syria. The motion does not touch on the protection of Syria’s territorial integrity,” he said.

Hamzaçebi accused the government of using this motion as a tool for hidden plans that could result in the dissolution of Syrian integrity.

HDP also against the motion

The motion is also far from being acceptable for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which claims that it reveals the government’s unwillingness to fight effectively against the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“The most serious and open threat against the peoples of Turkey and of the region is ISIL. But the government’ motion does not reflect that,” read a statement issued by the HDP. “That also shows that Turkey will not be use an effective approach against the ISIL.”

The party also criticized the government for labeling as a "terrorist organization" the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which represents Syrian Kurds and is linked to the outlawed Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The HDP stressed that the PYD was fighting against ISIL to protect innocent civilians in northern Syria and that Turkey’s inaction to protect Kurds in Syria would drag Turkey’s ongoing Kurdish resolution process into a crisis.

Demirtaş meets Davutoğlu

Meanwhile, HDP co-head Selahattin Demirtaş held a meeting with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Oct. 1, a day after he visited Kobane in northern Syria to observe the ongoing struggle between the PYD and ISIL militants.

Before the meeting, Demirtaş called the motion a “mandate for a war” and explained that was why they would not endorse it. “The objective of the motion is unclear. We will vote against it,” he said.

MHP likely to vote in favor

Sources indicate that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is likely to vote in favor of the motion due to the party’s concerns regarding national security, although it has reservations about the motion’s content. MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli and the party’s top leaders were discussing the motion on Oct. 1, a day ahead of the vote.

“We are currently considering the motion positively,” Celal Adan, deputy leader of the MHP, briefly told reporters on Oct.1.