The government submitted a comprehensive motion to parliament on Sept. 20 to extend the one-year mandate authorizing the deployment of the Turkish army into Iraq and Syria and allowing the deployment of foreign troops on Turkish soil, providing the necessary legality for Turkey’s contribution to the international coalition’s efforts to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The motion, based on Article 92 of the constitution, gives permission for the use of Turkish troops in Iraq and Syria for cross-border operations against members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), while also allowing foreign forces to be deployed in Turkish military bases and to transit through Turkish territory in operations against ISIL.
In 2014, the government merged two existing motions on Syria and Iraq into one, arguing that the threats posed by terrorist organizations were based in both countries’ territories.
“Developments in the neighboring regions of Turkey’s southern land frontiers, and threats derived from ongoing clashes, have increased,” read part of the motion signed by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.
The proposal also recalled that PKK elements are continuing their presence in northern Iraq, stressing that both ISIL in northern Syria and the PKK have carried out attacks against Turkey. The motion underlined the continuation of Turkey’s activities as part of the international coalition that was established for the struggle against ISIL and other terrorist organizations.
The mandate will be extended on Oct. 2 after a parliamentary debate on Oct. 1.
Turkey, a member of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIL, opened up a new line of attack in northern Syria on Sept. 3, as Turkish tanks crossed the frontier from the Kilis province, starting a western leg in an operation to remove militants from its border.
Launching the Euphrates Shield operation on Aug. 24, the Turkish army and Ankara-backed Syrian opposition forces, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), took the northern Syrian town of Jarablus from ISIL and continued to expand their operation to rid the area of both ISIL fighters and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey says is a terrorist organization as it is an offshoot of the PKK.