Turkish gov’t moves to renew Syria motion

Turkish gov’t moves to renew Syria motion

Nuray Babacan - ANKARA
Turkish gov’t moves to renew Syria motion

AFP photo

The government has submitted a parliamentary motion extending its permission to launch military attacks in Iraq and Syria and allow foreign troops to launch attacks from Turkish soil as part of a bid to avoid potential problems if the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) joins an interim government with the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The motion submitted on Aug. 21 said there was an increased risk regarding the national security.

The motion, which is for the extension of a motion adopted on Oct. 2, 2014, and which authorized the launch of military incursions into Syria and Iraq for possible operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), was opened for signatures during the latest cabinet meeting. 

The meeting held on Aug. 19 was likely also the last meeting of the current cabinet before an interim election government is formed. At the time, the HDP, which both President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP government accuse of having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), categorically opposed and voted against the motion.

The AKP is expected to call for an extraordinary session of parliament to extend the motion, which is particularly important for the government amid the nearly month-long campaign of air strikes against PKK militants in southeastern Anatolia and northern Iraq as the motion originally also includes terrorist threats from Iraqi territory.

Senior executives from the AKP said they might call parliament for an extraordinary session at any time – hoping that the meeting will be held next week or in the first week of September. The AKP currently holds 253 seats in the 550-seated parliament. The parliamentary speaker may recall the assembly for an extraordinary session with the written request of one-fifth of the deputies.