The Turkish Parliament debated on the proposal to extend by another year the military’s authority to carry out operations in northern Iraq. The proposal was approved by a record majority of 511 to 18 votes. (UPDATED)
The parliament voted on a replacement to the current mandate that expires Oct. 17.
The proposal submmited by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said “the borders, the scope, the extent and timing (of a possible cross-border operation) would be determined by the government.”
The extension allows the Turkish army to carry out cross-border operations to pound the terror organization, PKK, both from the ground and air.
The voting came at a critical time in fight against terror as the PKK carried out the deadliest attack in a year, killing 17 soldiers and injuring 20 others.
The authority would be used only against pin-pointed targets, NTV quoted Wednesday Turkish President Abdullah Gul as saying.
On Thursday, the the Anti-Terror Higher Board would hold a critical meeting to discuss the various measures to be taken against the PKK, including an incursion into northern Iraq, where the organization has its bases, as well as a proposal for the formation of buffer zones between the two neighboring countries.
Erdogan urged all deputies of his Justice and Development Party to attend and vote in favor of the extension proposal.
The proposal is expected to be approved with a record vote.
OPPOSITION SLAMS GOV'T
The leftist opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) reiterated its support to the proposal. CHP deputy Sukru Elekdag, however, slammed the government and the local administration in northern Iraq.
The Turkish government "has weakness in fight against terror," he told ahead of voting, adding the ruling party is acting within the limits drawn by the United States.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Deniz Bolukbasi also criticized the government, saying it should take more concrete steps, such as implementing sanctions, on the local administration in northern Iraq under Massood Barzani.