ISTANBUL // Turkey's parliament approved a measure proposed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, giving the government broad powers to send soldiers into "foreign countries" after Turkish armed forces and Syria traded fire on Wednesday and Thursday.
The measure is valid for one year and allows Mr. Erdogan to deploy troops into Syria without consulting with the national assembly in Ankara. The measure was apposed by the main opposition Republican People's Party, which dubbed it a "war bill".
Opponents argue that the rules of engagement adopted after Syria downed a Turkish reconnaissance jet in June provide a broad enough mandate to thwart threats from President Bashar Al Assad's regime, which has been battling an uprising that started in March 2011 and is supported by Turkey.
"The negative impacts of the ongoing crisis in Syria on our national security is visible in an increasing fashion," Mr. Erdogan said in the bill he submitted to parliament. "The aggressive actions targeting our national lands are at the threshold of armed attacks.... For that reason, it has become necessary to take precaution to act in a timely and quick manner against additional risks and threats facing our country."