NORTH KURDISTAN (TURKEY) : Parliament debates motion seeking extension on mandate to target PKK in Iraq

11 October 2012 / TODAY’S ZAMAN, ANKARA – A government motion seeking a one-year extension of the mandate from Parliament to conduct military operations against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq was put on Parliament’s agenda on Thursday.

It is expected to be approved by an overwhelming majority of deputies. The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) is the only party that is expected to vote against the motion. The government obtained a mandate for cross-border military operations last week from Parliament against Syria after mortar shells from Syria killed five civilians in the border town of Akçakale. While defending the motion, the government said the motion was intended to serve as a deterrent. The motion for Iraq was submitted to Parliament in October at the start of the new legislative year. Voting on it was delayed after the government put forward another motion for Syria after the Akçakale incident.

The Iraqi motion was first brought to Parliament in 2007, and the mandate has since been extended four times — in 2008, 2009, 2010 and last year. The current resolution providing the legal basis for operations expires on Oct. 17.

“Terrorist attacks and open threats from terrorist PKK groups sheltering in northern Iraq still continue against the Turkish nation’s peace and security, and against Turkey’s national unity and territorial integrity,” the motion, which bears the signature of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said.