Turkey prepares to adopt motion to deploy troops to Central African Republic
UN peacekeeping soldiers patrol in the Sango area of Bangui, Central African Republic, on Oct. 15. AFP PhotoThe Turkish government is set to send a motion to Parliament on the deployment of troops to the Central African Republic as part of an EU peacekeeping force, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has announced.
“The sending of a motion to Parliament has been decided by our Prime Ministry,” Arınç told reporters late Nov. 3, speaking after a Cabinet meeting.
“Our ministry has had a demand to send troops abroad within the context of operations and missions fulfilled by the European Union in the Central African Republic and Mali. It will be assessed in Parliament when the time comes,” he added, without specifying an exact date.
In February, the EU’s outgoing foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, asked Turkey to contribute to a military mission to help end sectarian unrest in the Central African Republic. At the time, Turkish officials said the EU did not specifically ask for troops from Ankara but was seeking some kind of Turkish “contribution.”
Only a few days after Ashton’s letter asking for “contribution” arrived in Ankara, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to encourage Turkey to play an active role in the military mission to help end sectarian unrest in the Central African Republic.
At the time, officials said Ankara was considering sending some army officers to be deployed at headquarters and/or send a C-130 aircraft.