View Full Version : Turkish Parliament To Vote On Iraq Action

10-16-2007, 07:09 AM
Turkish Parliament to Vote on Iraq Action


Published: October 16, 2007

ISTANBUL, Oct. 15 — The Turkish government drafted a motion today seeking parliamentary authority for the military to cross into Iraq to fight Kurdish separatist rebels who have been taking refuge in the mountainous border region.

The motion, which allow cross-border military action for a year, is aimed solely at the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K., according to a government spokesman, Cemil Cicek, speaking a televised news conference. It appears likely to pass on Wednesday. Less clear is when the approval would be translated into military action.

Turkey and Iraq signed an accord last month pledging cooperation in combating the group but the accords specifically denied Turkey the right to cross into Iraq, even in “hot pursuit” of rebels.

The Kurdish administration in northern Iraq strongly opposes any incursion by the Turkish Army and has not supported previous agreements to cooperate between the Iraqi government and Turkey.

Intensified rebel attacks in recent weeks, including the deadliest in recent months, prompted the Turkish government to take firmer action. Thirteen soldiers were killed in one day in the predominantly Kurdish southeast in early October, in an attack Turkish security forces attributed to the P.K.K.

“Numerous meetings, talks and memorandums of understanding and agreements have not brought about the elimination of this curse,” Mr. Cicek said. “The curse that we call terrorism is not an issue to end after a one-season struggle. It needs continuity, decisiveness and precautions in many directions, which we are trying to take.”

Tariq Hashimi, an Iraqi vice president, is expected to visit senior Turkish officials in Ankara on Wednesday before the parliamentary vote, the semi-official Anatolian News Agency reported.