A new bill to replace a parliamentary motion passed last year authorizing cross-border military operations in Syria will be on Parliament’s agenda on Oct. 3, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said.
Speaking in a press conference held after the weekly Cabinet meeting in Ankara, Arınç declined to comment on possible changes, but did say that the motion would only relate to Syria and would not include Iraq.
The current motion will expire on Oct. 4.
The deputy prime minister,, who also serves as the government’s spokesman, said his government was “curious about the other parties’ views on the motion.”
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said on Sept. 19 that the new motion could include a number of amendments, adding that the Foreign Ministry and the General Staff were doing what was necessary regarding the motion.
Last year’s motion brought about amendments to the rules of engagement adopted by Turkey. These were recently referred to by Turkish officials after the military shot down a Syrian helicopter that committed a border violation on Sept. 16.
Turkey says Chinese missile deal not final
Deputy Prime Minister also made comments on Turkey’s decision to co-produce a long-range air and missile defence system with a Chinese firm currently under U.S. sanction, saying Turkey felt no obligation to heed other countries’ blacklists.
“We do not consider anything other than Turkey’s interests,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç told reporters.
“It is not possible for another country to say, ‘I have a problem with them, I had put them on a black list, a red list, how could you give them a tender?’,” said Arınç.
Arınç did not single out the United States in his criticism, saying comments from U.S. officials about the decision had been “respectful”, but reiterated Turkey did not need to consult on matters of domestic defence.
“We are a member of NATO and we have had good relations from the beginning with NATO countries, especially the United States. However, when it comes to the subject of defending Turkey … we have the power to take a decision without looking to anyone else,” he said.
Arınç said while the deal had not yet been completed, the initial selection had been based on the Chinese offer being the most economical and because some of the production would be carried out in conjunction with Turkey.