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U.S. troops arrive on Turkish soil

U.S. soldiers stand next to vehicles in the Turkish port of Iskenderun
U.S. soldiers stand next to vehicles in the Turkish port of Iskenderun

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CNN's Jane Arraf says the Turkish stock market and the lira both dropped after parliament rejected a multi-billion dollar U.S. troop deal (March 3)
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ANKARA, Turkey (CNN) -- U.S. soldiers and equipment have been seen disembarking on to Turkish soil despite the country's politicians voting against American troop deployment.

The troops are renovating military bases, a move agreed before the parliamentary vote, U.S. officials say. The modernizations were seen as a precursor to the much larger deployment of 62,000 troops near the Iraq border in the run-up to a possible war against Baghdad.

The Turkish parliament is not set to vote again on the issue until at least next week when the country may have a new leader.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party, is not the country's premier. That may change after he stands in a by-election Sunday.

It is not clear whether Turkey is to hold another vote on U.S. troop deployment after Saturday's rejection. It will need a new question to be put before parliament.

Momentum could be growing for a new vote after the country's influential army came out in support of such a move against the wishes of much of the Muslim population.

Turkey is set to benefit from a multi-billion dollar deal with Washington if the vote goes through.

But Erdogan said a vote may wait until after the government reviews the Security Council's next steps and a possible vote on a new U.S.-backed resolution Monday or Tuesday.

CNN's Harris Whitbeck saw 35 trucks, fuel tankers, ambulances, large transports and support vehicles, leaving the port city of Izkenderun Thursday.

A U.S. military source called it "measured movement site preparation equipment," saying the materials were headed to various airbases, seaports and military bases as part of an agreement reached with the Turkish government that the United States would modernize the country's military base.

Late in the day, another ship arrived in Izkenderun carrying communications equipment and trucks.

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