BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 6 February, 2003, 16:20 GMT
Turkey agrees to aid US war
Turkish border post
The US wants to use Turkish bases to attack Iraq
Turkey's parliament has agreed to allow the United States to upgrade Turkish military bases in preparation for a possible war with Iraq.

We seek authority from the parliament about deployment of US technical and military personnel in Turkey for three months for modernisation, development and construction of bases and ports

Government motion
Deputies passed a motion on Thursday authorising US personnel to start "renovation, development, construction, expansion and infrastructure work at military bases".

The BBC's correspondent in Istanbul, Jonny Dymond, says the vote is Turkey's first step on the road to war.

A vote on allowing Turkish troops to be sent abroad and foreign troops to be stationed in Turkey is expected in about 10 days' time.

As a Nato member, the country has been under intense pressure from Washington to allow US troops to use its bases as a platform to attack Iraq.

Open in new window : Clickable Map
Conflict with Iraq : Where Europe stands

Our correspondent says the Turkish Government resisted as long as it thought conflict could be averted.

But before Thursday's vote Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said Turkey had no choice but to back Washington on Iraq.

Iraq warning

"We have to act together with our strategic partner and ally the United States for our national interests," the daily Milliyet quoted him as saying, echoing remarks by his party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.

Kurdish demonstrators
Turkey fears any war with Iraq will ignite Kurdish tensions
The motion was passed by 308 votes to 93 with 9 abstentions.

It makes clear that Turkey regards itself as a victim of circumstances.

Before the vote, Iraq's ambassador to Turkey, Talib Abid Saleh, warned that any state providing logistical support to the US would "be participating in the war.

"Countries which participate in this manner will be committing a big crime and a strategic mistake," he said.

Kurdish fears

Many Turks fear war with its neighbour would lead Kurdish groups in the north of Iraq to break away, correspondents say.

Such a move could re-ignite tensions among its own Kurdish population who fought a 15-year guerrilla war for independence.

There are also concerns that as in the previous Gulf war, Turkey's fragile economy will be hit severely by a campaign against Baghdad.

The United Nations refugee agency predicts that thousands of Iraqis are likely to flee to Turkey in the event of a conflict.

The US Government has promised Ankara financial assistance - ranging from between $4bn and $15bn - to help alleviate the war's economic impact.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jonny Dymond
"Turkey doesn't want to see an autonomous Kurdish state"
Chris Patten, European commissioner
"Turkey is very nervous about the consequences of a military conflict"

Key stories

Analysis

CLICKABLE GUIDE

BBC WORLD SERVICE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

04 Feb 03 | Europe
27 Jan 03 | Business
23 Jan 03 | Europe
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes