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    Mehmet Y. Yilmaz: The administration-military dance on Northern Iraq

    Hürriyet Haber
    06.07.2007 - 15:05 | Son Güncelleme:

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said "If the military wants, it can enter Northern Iraq." After reading these words in the newspaper, I remembered that the military has asserted that this "wanting" business belongs to the "political authority." And thus these debates have raged on for nearly two months. The administration says "If a demand comes from the military, we will do what is necessary," while the military says "If the government asks, we will do what is necessary."

    Looking at this tableau, a person is left to think, "Someone must be joking around with us."
     
    And at the same time, there really is something strange about this all as far as the
    government is concerned.
     
    In Turkey, the chief of the armed forces, the top commander, is tied to the government through the Prime Minister; just as it should be in a democracy.

    While the Turkish Parliament would make the decision about a possible over the border operation, it would be the government itself which would implement it.

    Thus, is it not a bit of a conflicting situation when the government says of a decision it needs to make that the situation "depends on the military's wishes," and then also frequently complains about the "military authority over the political regime"?

    Then, there is also the National Security Council. The aim of this council is to bring together the top ministers from the government with top commanders from the military, and to try and extract the shared or not shared views of these figures regarding the nation's security problems.

    But at the last such National Security Council meeting, was this question not discussed? And if it was, did the military not voice its opinions on the possibility of an over the border operation?
     
    And does the government itself not have its own opinon on the situation, or will it continue simply to respond "If the military wants it, we will act"?

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