The speaker of the Turkish parliament has nullified a vote approving the use of Turkish bases by US troops for a possible war against Iraq.
The dramatic twist came late Saturday, shortly after lawmakers approved the US request by a vote of 264 to 251, with 19 abstentions. The Pentagon wants to launch a northern front from Turkey in any war to force Iraq to disarm.
Opposition lawmakers immediately challenged the vote, saying it fell four votes short of the simple majority needed for passage under the Turkish constitution.
After declaring the nullification, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc adjourned parliament until Tuesday.
It remains unclear what impact the action will have on U-S war planning. A brief statement from the U-S State Department says it is awaiting clarification of today's events.
About 60-thousand US troops and thousands of tons of military hardware remain aboard US Naval Ships in the Mediterranean, awaiting permission to go ashore.
The vote and its nullification came as thousands of Turkish anti-war protesters demonstrated at a public square near the parliament against the US deployment request. Protesters carried banners saying "No to War" and "The People Will Stop This War," as about four thousand Turkish police blocked a road leading to parliament.