Turkish Parliament Approves Military Response if Attacked

Times Wire Services

The Turkish Parliament on Sunday empowered the government to declare war or send troops abroad--but limited the authority to retaliation for an attack on Turkey.

Parliament, which had been on summer recess, voted in secret after a two-hour closed session, officials said. The proposal was approved by 216 votes to 151 in the 450-seat house dominated by the ruling Motherland Party.

Asking for the powers, Prime Minister Yildirim Akbulut said: "We cannot remain indifferent when one of our neighbors (Iraq) is on a war footing."

A multinational force led by the United States is being dispatched to Saudi Arabia to protect that nation against a possible Iraqi invasion, and some news reports have said that Iraq also is building up its troop strength on Turkey's border.

Turkey has not committed itself to joining the multinational force, but President Turgut Ozal has pledged the use of Turkey's strategic bases in case war breaks out.

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