Parliament approved Northern Iraq motion
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsA government motion to extend the Turkish military’s authority for cross-border operations against members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq was approved by Parliament late Oct. 11 with a majority of votes, except from Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) lawmakers.
“This is not a motion for war; this motion has been adopted to provide peace. Procuring security in northern Iraq is Turkey’s sincere wish. We wish the Kurdish regional administration would have prevented the threat directed to Turkey from its soil, but it did not carry out such an action,” Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said in Parliament during the debates. Parliament authorized cross-border operations into northern Iraq in 2007 and has extended the mandate each year. The motion authorizes the government to determine the scale, scope and timing of military action. The current mandate expires Oct. 17. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) fully supported the motion. The main opposition Republican People Party (CHP) also approved the bill although some deputies voted against it. The BDP, meanwhile, strongly opposed the bill, calling it a “war motion.”
Although they expressed their support for the motion, the MHP and the CHP criticized the government during debates in Parliament.
MHP deputy parliamentary group chair Oktay Vural criticized the government for the secret talks that were held between 2009 and 2011 with the PKK in Oslo. “We authorize the government to fight with the terrorist organization [PKK], not to negotiate with them,” Vural said. The CHP’s Muharrem İnce, for his part, called on the government to attack northern Iraq’s Kandil Mountain, where the PKK leadership is based. “When will [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan], who speaks about performing his prayers at Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, talk about setting up a camp on Kandil Mountain?” İnce said. k HDN