Parliament discusses mandate for N Iraq

Parliament discusses mandate for N Iraq

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Parliament discusses mandate for N Iraq

Turkish Parliament discussed a motion to extend the military’s authority to carry out cross-border operations against the outlawed PKK in northern Iraq yesterday. AA photo

A government motion to extend the Turkish military’s authority to carry out cross-border operations against members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq was discussed in Parliament yesterday. The debate in Parliament was underway when the Hürriyet Daily News went to print yesterday, but the motion was expected to be approved with a majority of votes, excepting those of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) lawmakers.

Discussion of the motion was postponed to yesterday after the government on Oct. 4 proposed another motion allowing cross-border operations in Syria, just hours after mortars from across the Syrian border killed five civilians on Oct. 3. The cross-border motion for northern Iraq was delivered to Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek’s office on Oct. 1.

Cross-border operations

Parliament authorized cross-border operations into northern Iraq in 2007 and has extended the mandate each year since then. The motion would authorize the government to determine the scale, scope and timing of military action. The current mandate of the motion expires Oct. 17.

“Terrorist attacks and the open threat that stems from PKK terrorist elements that have found refuge in the northern region of Iraq, and which are directed against the Turkish people’s peace and security and against this country’s national unity, security and territorial integrity continue,” read the motion, signed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “Turkey attaches great importance to the preservation of Iraq’s territorial integrity, national unity and stability and continues its military operations in order to bring an end to the existence of PKK terrorists in northern Iraq and stop terrorist attacks in our country. It also continues its political and diplomatic attempts and warnings.”

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have already expressed their full support for the motion, and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) was also expected to approve the motion, with a few exceptions. The BDP strongly opposes the motion, calling it a “war motion.”