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Re: [casi] Turkey?

On Tue, 11 Mar 2003 13:58:55 EST, you wrote:

>[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]
>Hello All,
>Does anyone have any firm information if Turkey will change its vote on
>allowing U.S. troops?

Does it matter?  The Turksh military, dismissing the will of the
Parlaiment is allowing in US troops and equipment anyways, Turkish
democracy be damned.

This is a huge story and it has yet to be picked up by any of the majors
as far as I know.  Here's an AFP dispatch on it:

Wednesday March 12, 01:24 AM

Turkish MPs in furious debate over US military presence

Scuffles broke out and insults flew in the Turkish parliament during a
debate on the presence of US military personnel in the country despite a
recent vote blocking massive deployment of American troops ahead of a
possible war on Iraq.

The tension rose over a petition by the main opposition Republican
People's Party (CHP) demanding a parliamentary probe into US military
activities, which it said had "turned the country into a theater for war

Parliament, which is dominated by the ruling Justice and Development
Party (AKP), rejected the petition.

"You are all American footmen," one opposition MP shouted at AKP
colleagues, sparking scuffles and an exchange of insults.

The CHP demand for a probe came amid public anger at accelerated US
military activities in Turkey, which officials say are within the scope
of a parliamentary decision in February allowing US personnel to upgrade
Turkish military facilities.

But legislators rejected a follow-up government motion, calling for the
deployment of 62,000 US soldiers who would invade Iraq from the north,
in a dramatic vote on March 1.

US ships have nevertheless continued to unload military equipment at
Turkish ports, and long convoys of trailer trucks have been carrying
them to regions close to the Iraqi border on a daily basis.

"It is not known what they are carrying. I guess these are not baseball
bats for the American soldiers," CHP deputy Haluk Koc said.

The Turkish military has said the activities are within the scope of the
decision to allow facilitiis modernization.

The government is now considering calling for a second parliamentary
vote on a full-scale deployment of US troops.

The CHP petition, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, suggested that
the initial permission to deploy US engineering corps specialists had
become "meaningless and baseless" after parliament denied US combat
troops access to Turkish territory.

"But despite that, some practices have recently turned the country into
a theater for war preparations... It is understood that new logistical
bases are being set up, that seaports, land bases and certain facilities
are being rented to foreigners," it said.

"The parliament was not asked to authorize such activities in the motion
it approved," it added.

The CHP's move followed the outburst this weekend of parliamentary
speaker Bulent Arinc, who called the US military activities a "de facto"

"The images that we see on television are extremely disturbing... It
makes me bristle," said Arinc, an influential anti-war member of the
ruling party.


Copyright  2002 AFP. All rights reserved.

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