Socialist Worker

Anger grows as Turkish parliament prepares for vote on troops for Lebanon

by Ron Margulies in Turkey
Issue No. 2017

A press conference turns into an impromptu anti-war demonstration (Pic: Guy Smallman)

A press conference turns into an impromptu anti-war demonstration (Pic: Guy Smallman)


As Socialist Worker went to press on Tuesday of this week, the Turkish parliament was set to vote on sending troops to Lebanon as part of the United Nations (UN) force.

The prospect of Turkish troops being sent to the region has sparked anti-war protests.

The vote is being rushed through parliament at the earliest possible date - giving activists just days to organise protests.

A meeting of the Global Peace and Justice Coalition met on Wednesday of last week and achieved an agreement with trade unions and professional associations to hold a demonstration in the capital, Ankara, on the day of the vote.

A press conference to publicise the demonstration attracted about 300 people and turned into an impromptu protest.

We are trying to get at least 10,000 protesters to Ankara - and showering the MPs from the ruling Justice and Development Party with text messages, letters and phone calls.

It seems likely the government will manage to win the vote to send troops - despite opposition from about 60 percent of the population, according to recent opinion polls.

If the vote goes the other way it will be a major blow to the UN security council’s plans for a “peacekeeping” force in Lebanon.

Turkey is expected to send up to 1,000 troops to participate in the force.

The anti-war mood, and the level of activity, in the country has been high for some time. Over 80,000 young people attended the fourth annual Rock for Peace festival held on 26-27 August.

A week before 10,000 joined an “Israel Out of Lebanon” demonstration in Istanbul.


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