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Cablegate: Gaziantep Parliamentarians Explain

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) In a March 12 phone call with Consul,
Gaziantep newspaper publisher Aykut Tuzcu (please
protect) a reliable and trustworthy contact,
relayed the explanation offered to him by three
Gaziantep parliamentarians for the failure of the
Turkish parliament to approve the proposed
resolution to allow sending of Turkish troops and
receiving of American troops in its March 1 vote.

2. "We voted against the resolution," they said,
"even though we supported it." Why? The
parliamentarians said that no one in the Turkish
parliament had focused on or truly understood the
technicality of needing an absolute majority,
i.e. a majority of all votes cast (for, against,
abstentions). Thus, some parliamentarians,
including themselves, reckoned that they had a
vote to "waste."

3. Why, though, vote against something that you
support? "Because," they said, "we wanted to
send a signal to the country and the world that
Turkey is a democracy, and that it can't be
`bought' by the United States."

4. The embarassing pandemonium that followed the
vote - in which all networks inaccurately
reported at first that the resolution had passed
- was a consequence of the fact that not only
parliamentarians, but also the press, are hazy on
Turkish parliamentary procedure, and lends
credence to this explanation.

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