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Turkish puzzle

The Turkish Parliament voted today on the motion to allow the US to base troops in Turkey for the war on Iraq. Initially, the motion appeared to pass by a thin margin of 264-251, with 19 abstentions. However, Speaker Bulent Arinc quickly announced that the motion failed because it failed to gain a majority of yes votes. I.e., the abstentions had it.

Bulent Arinc is a member of the majority Justice and Development Party, whose leader publicly backed the motion. The narrow margin along with his actions has to represent a fairly sizable division within the party, which is no surprise, but I’m sure Recep Tayyip Erdogan was hoping that it wouldn’t be quite this painful.

The Turkish Parliament has adjourned until Tuesday.

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