The Turkish parliament on Tuesday approved a government motion on sending troops to Iraq, officials said.
A total of 358 parliament members in the 550-seat assembly voted in favor of the motion while 183 voted against, Faruk Celik, a member of parliament from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), announced.
Two lawmakers abstained while seven MPs were not present in the assembly, he added.
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose party dominates parliament with 367 seats, welcomed the result of the vote which came despite opposition to Ankara's plans from both public opinion in Turkey and Iraq's interim leadership.
Once the news reached the assembly, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) interrupted the debate and asked for the postponement of the vote, but AKP legislators rejected the proposal, CHP deputy Kemal Anadol told NTV news channel.
The government motion set the duration of the deployment at a maximum of one year, but did not state how many soldiers would be sent and where they would serve. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )