With fighters from the Islamic State militant group now within site of the Turkish army on the border with Syria, the country’s parliament is due to vote on Wednesday on a proposal to broaden its existing powers and allow Ankara to order military action from Turkey against all terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.
Turkey’s president Erdogan says that airstrikes against Islamic State militants will only prolong instability in the region in the absence of a broader political strategy. So far his country has borne the brunt of the human catastrophe.
“Our first priority is that the refugees, more than 1,5 million, should return or shelter in their own country”, said the president.
Turkey shares a 1200km border with Syria and is struggling to cope with the huge influx of refugees. Many are fleeing the ISIL advance, others have been displaced by the uprising against Syria’s President Assad. The Turkish govenrment is also insisting that he must be removed as part of any long-term solution.