The one-year motion was first endorsed by Parliament last year with a 320-129 vote after mortar shells from Syria killed five civilians in the border town of Akçakale. The government then said it had no intention of going to war with Syria despite blaming it for the incident.
This year the government drew attention to the chemical attack of Aug. 21 in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta reportedly launched by regime forces in which more than 1,000 people, including children, were killed by poison gas.
While the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voted in favor of the motion, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) voted against it.
Prior to the vote, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu made it clear that his party would vote against a motion that authorizes the government to use force in Syria if necessary, adding that his party wants “peace” in the region and that the nation is weary of wars. “How could tired Syria attack us?” Kılıçdaroğlu asked rhetorically to highlight the lack of threat Syria poses to Turkey in a bid to rally support against the motion.
The motion, signed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, presents a grim picture of the situation in war-torn Syria, noting that millions of Syrians have been displaced by war and that Turkey faces the risk of an even greater influx of refugees from the neighboring country.
The motion states that the Syrian regime disregards international law and uses ballistic missiles and heavy weaponry, including aerial bombardment, against its citizens and maintains: “The developments show that the Syrian regime has reached a point where it is able to use every method and every weapon, though they are against international norms.” It also points to Turkey’s situation with unrest on its doorstep, ongoing for more than two-and-a-half years, and says that Turkey is in the position of being most affected by any kind of attack and the continuing uncertainty and chaos in Syria.