Turkey: Parliament approves upgrade of U.S. bases

Sabri Oncu soncu at pacbell.net
Thu Feb 6 17:18:14 MST 2003


The vote was taken behind closed doors and the motion was carried
308-193 with 9 abstentions. That they had to take the vote behind
closed doors is a clear indication that they are afraid from
their citizens. There is clearly a divide between the members of
the National Assembly and there is no reason not to expect that
the balance may change in favor of the opponents. The pressure of
the anti-war forces, which is basically 94% of the population, on
the MPs, some of whom are already actively participating in the
anti-war efforts, is growing like an avalanche. Even some
well-known sitcom actors are issuing statements and playing an
active role in the anti-war movement.

The next vote will be at the end of the coming holiday, on Feb
18, and on whether to allow U.S. soldiers to be based in Turkey
and Turkish soldiers to move into Iraq if there was a war or not.
Next time, it will not be this easy. The rulers of Turkey are
losing their legitimacy in the eyes of their subjects. A friend
publicly likened the leaders of AKP, Erdogan and Gul to Blair and
some others argue that this is a suicide for AKP. What I am
wondering is whether there are any changes in the
feelings/attitude of the people towards the military, as the
military seems to back the US, too. Indeed, some AKP deputies
imply that they were following orders from the military but of
course open discussion of such matters in Turkey is a dangerous
thing for all.

Best,
Sabri

This is the decription of the session from the Turkish site of
MSNBC:

"Meeting behind closed doors, the parliament held what was
described as a somewhat heated session, though with its large
majority the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was able
to carry the vote. The final tally was 308 deputies in favour of
the motion and 193 opposed. Some AKP deputies crossed the floor
to vote with the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)
against the government motion."

Also see:

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030206-113335-9871r

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35642-2003Feb6.htm
l


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