Motion on troop deployment to Libya passes Turkish Parliament

Motion on troop deployment to Libya passes Turkish Parliament

Motion on troop deployment to Libya passes Turkish Parliament

Turkey’s parliament passed a motion that authorizes the government to send Turkish troops to Libya for a one-year deployment at their emergency session on Jan. 2.

The motion passed with 325 votes in favor and 184 votes against the deployment. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) supported the motion, which was voted on during an emergency session. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), opposition İYİ (Good) Party, Felicity Party (SP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) objected to it.

Ankara says the deployment is vital for Turkey to safeguard its interests in Libya and the eastern Mediterranean, while the opposition parties argue the move would embroil Turkey in another conflict and urge the government to search for a diplomatic solution in Libya instead.

In a written statement, Felicity Party members said the reason for the decision to send troops should not be a choice between the conflicting parties there but should be declared as providing tranquility and peace at the request of the legitimate government. 

Having two MPs at the parliament, one of the Felicity Party lawmakers Cihangir İslam announced that he would not vote for the motion.

Speaking at the debate, MHP lawmaker Erhan Akçay said Turkey can continue its range of motion in the eastern Mediterranean if this motion is practiced with a strong will. Turkey’s achievements in the region will be imperiled, and an anti-Turkey front might be successful in Libya, he noted.

The CHP’s Deputy Chair Ünal Çeviköz questioned why Turkey did not consult with regional countries and criticized that Turkey prefers military power rather than soft power.

He objected that Turkey is becoming part of a proxy war in Libya and said the motion violates U.N. resolutions about the North African country banning arms support.

The government said it would decide on the size, timing and scope of the deployment. The “border [limit], current [scope], quantity and time” of the mission is to be appointed by the president, according to the motion.

The reason of the motion is “Turkey’s protection of rights in the Mediterranean with national interests in Libya, prevention of illegitimacy by mass migration threat and formation of a favorable environment for terrorist organizations and armed groups, and aiming humanitarian aid to the Libyan people,” according to the text.