Turkish Parliament Accepts Motion to Send Troops to Lebanon

Turkish lawmakers adopted a government motion on Tuesday after six-hours of heated debate in the general assembly, authorizing the deployment of Turkish peacekeeping troops to Lebanon.

Turkish Parliament Accepts Motion to Send Troops to Lebanon

Three hundred and forty deputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), voted in favor of the government motion, while 192 deputies voted against the motion. One deputy abstained from voting.

The motion needed a simple majority to pass, that is, one "yes" vote more than half of the attending MPs.

Twelve deputies took turns speaking at the general assembly about the motion. The ruling AKP deputies defended the motion, underlining that Turkey should not be uninterested into developments in the region.

Opponents of the motion, on the other hand, said that Turkish government should focus on its internal problems first, such as the fight against PKK terrorism.

President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who generally vetoes the controversial bills from the AKP, has no right to veto the troop deployment motion.

Despite strong public opposition, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) encouraged by the U.S. administration, favors sending Turkish troops to the region.

Most Turks believe that Turkish troops in south Lebanon would only serve to protect the Israelis and that they may be forced into clashes with the Hezbollah.

The ruling AKP government failed to pass a motion through the parliament in 2003, straining relations with the U.S. at the time. The motion dated March 1 would have allowed U.S. troops to use Turkish soil to invade Iraq.

Some 1000 Turkish soldiers are expected to arrive in Lebanon to serve under the helm of the U.N. for a year. Turkish troops will have a naval mission off Lebanon's shores and will train the Lebanese army.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16