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Turkish military unhappy with parliament's lack of guidance

The approval of the motion for cross-border operations by the Turkish parliament raises more questions than it provides answers.
Turkish Parliament convenes to vote on a motion which would allow the government to authorise cross-border military incursions against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, and allow coalition forces to use Turkish territory, in Ankara October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTR48OUH

The motion that Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu described as “I personally wrote parts of it, and read in its entirety” was approved by the parliament. Because it is laden with equivocal expressions, the Turkish public and media are speculating the justification for the motion and its potential consequences. There is considerable criticism of issuing a single motion to authorize the Turkish army to cross the border into Syria and Iraq — not specifying what are the threats requiring such a motion, not listing the countries where the Turkish troops might be sent to (it simply says, "to send the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to foreign countries") and including an ambiguous expression that states, "To allow foreign soldiers to be stationed in Turkey for one year." But there is no doubt that the approval has endowed the government with ample space for maneuver.

Although Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said not to expect immediate steps to emphasize that there was no urgency, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to be in a hurry "to impose a no-fly zone, set up safe havens on the Syrian side and decide on actors to manage this process."

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