Turkish vote to fight
4 October, 2014, 12:00 am
Turkey’s parliament has backed a motion that could allow its military to enter Iraq and Syria to join the campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants.
The resolution — passed with a three-quarters majority — will also permit foreign troops to use Turkish territory for the operation.
Turkey has been under pressure to play a more active role in the US-led fight.
The government dropped its reluctance to combat IS militants directly after the release of 46 hostages last month.
The Turkish citizens had been held by IS in northern Iraq.
However, Turkey still remains wary of retaliation by IS and also fears helping Kurds, who are fighting the militants.
Turkey has fought a long civil war with its Kurdish minority.
Protesters demonstrated outside parliament as the debate began but the motion was passed with 298 MPs in favour and 98 against.
It provides a legal framework for the Turkish military to launch incursions into Syria and Iraq against militants who threaten Turkey.
It also allows for foreign troops to be stationed in Turkey as part of the same campaign. With a strong majority in parliament, the result of the vote was never in doubt.
But whether this motion translates into Turkish troops being sent into battle is another matter.