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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (December 26, 1995)

From: "Demetrios E. Paneras" <dep@bu.edu>

Turkish News Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] FORMULAS FOR A GOVERNMENT

  • [02] CUSTOMS UNION WILL NOT BE EFFECTED

  • [03] TURKEY CONFIRMS $6 MILLION IN AID FOR BOSNIA

  • [04] ISMET INONU COMMEMORATED

  • [05] ANKARA CRITICIZES AMNESTY


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    TUESDAY DECEMBER 26, 1995

    Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

    [01] FORMULAS FOR A GOVERNMENT

    The Welfare Party (RP) led by Necmettin Erbakan emerged first from Sunday's general election with 21.3 % of the votes and 158 deputies in the 550-seat parliament. The Motherland Party (ANAP) led by Mesut Yilmaz got 19.66 % of the vote to capture 132 seats, while Prime Minister Tansu Ciller's True Path Party (DYP) collected 19.2 % and 135 seats, slightly more than those of ANAP although it ranked third in the voting. The Democratic Left Party (DSP) won 75 seats and the Republican People's Party (CHP) captured 50 seats.

    Government possibilities:

    1. DYP+ANAP+DSP coalition
    2. DYP+ANAP+CHP coalition
    3. DYP+ANAP+DSP+CHP coalition
    4. RP+ANAP or RP+DYP coalition
    5. A new election
    RP Chairman Necmettin Erbakan immediately asserted his claim to head the new government as Prime Minister Tansu Ciller handed in her resignation to President Suleyman Demirel. Demirel accepted her resignation and stated that Ciller and the 52nd government would be in power until a new cabinet was set up. Both Yilmaz and Ciller reconfirmed their opposition to forming a coalition with the RP. In a news conference, Ciller said: "If the need arises for an alternative coalition, provided there is a need for the DYP, we shall not be the side which will obstruct a coalition with ANAP. If the interests of the country dictate that, we can respond accordingly". Ciller noted that actually the DYP ranked first at the election because the RP made alliance with the Democratic Party (DP) and the ANAP with the Great Union Party (BBP). The DYP made no alliance with any party.

    Yilmaz told a separate press conference that the responsibility of the politicians to produce a "harmonious and working government" from the situation arising from the election, announcing his readiness "to evaluate the possible formulas (for a viable government) in an unbiased way. Since the combined seats of ANAP and DYP fail to add up to a majority of 276 in the 550-seat Parliament, Yilmaz indicated he was in search of new partners.

    DSP Chairman Bulent Ecevit said: "I cannot accept the Welfare Party as the only opoosition party, because it is a party against the secular and democratic Turkish Republic. We must get used to coalitions and minority governments".

    The Supreme Electoral Board will announce the final results on January 3. Parliament will convene on January 8 or 9 with new members. DSP Chairman Bulent Ecevit, as the oldest member, will preside over the swearing-in ceremony during the first session. Next day, the president will open talks with leaders on the formation of a new government. Candidates for speaker will have a 10-day deadline to declare their candidacy. The president will invite a leader to form the new government. Parliament will possibly convene on 20 January for the election of a new speaker. The prime minister designate will present a new cabinet list to the president, possibly on 25 January. A vote of confidence in the new coalition government will be held within one week. By the first week of February, a new government will be securely in place. /Hurriyet-Milliyet-Cumhuriyet-Sabah/

    [02] CUSTOMS UNION WILL NOT BE EFFECTED

    Although the religion-based Welfare Party (RP), calling for renegotiating Turkey's customs union with the European Union set to take effect at the start of the new year, came first in the general elections, it is not expected to effect Turkey-EU economic integration. European Parliament circles do not seem to be surprised by the election results, and note it is unlikely that the RP will be able to form a government. Marc Galle, former co-chairman of the Turco-European Joint Parliamentary Commission, noted that the election results would in no case effect the customs union. "Results should not be exaggerated. The other secularist parties are quite strong, but unfortunately divided," Galle said and stressed that customs union was the last step towards Turkey's EU full membership.

    Chairman of the Turkey-EU Contact Center, Jean Pirlot, shared the view that the election result would not delay the process of implementing the customs union, and drew attention to the fact that under the present election system small parties were not able to enter the parliament. He emphasized that the government to be established should take into account also strong regional trends not represented in parliament. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] TURKEY CONFIRMS $6 MILLION IN AID FOR BOSNIA

    Turkey will give $6 million to Bosnia-Herzegovina to help pay for urgently needed gas supplies, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. The decision to give the money was made during a meeting in Brussels of nations who pledged aid for the reconstruction of Bosnia- Herzegovina on December 20-21. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Omer Akbel said Turkey was now working on the technicalities of how the amount would be paid. Both Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina get their gas supply from Russia. Akbel noted that Turkey and Russia had a joint account regarding the purchase of natural gas. Russia is Turkey'a main supplier and part of Turkey's natural gas bill is paid on a barter basis. The donors meeting in Brussels secured about $500 million for the needs of Bosnia, Akbel added. /All papers/

    [04] ISMET INONU COMMEMORATED

    Ismet Inonu, Turkey's second president, was remembered on the 22nd anniversary of his death yesterday. Inonu died in the capital in 1973 at the age of 86. During an official ceremony at Ataturk's Mausoleum (Anitkabir), Inonu's sons Omer and Erdal Inonu, daughter Ozden Toker, Yekta Gungor Ozden, President of the Constitutional Court, Necdet Seckinoz, Secretary-General of the Presidential Office, some army commanders and Uluc Gurkan, Ankara Deputy of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) placed a wreath at Ataturk's Mausoleum and stood for a moment of silence.

    President Suleyman Demirel sent a message on the anniversary of Ismet Inonu's death. Demirel said in his message that Ismet Inonu would always be remembered because of his distinguished personality. Another commemoration ceremony was held in Istanbul. /All papers/

    [05] ANKARA CRITICIZES AMNESTY

    Turkey has criticized Amnesty International (AI) for ignoring the terrorist activities of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). "AI claimed that the PKK had killed 70 civilians in 1995. However the PKK killed 320 civilians, and wounded another 399, during the first 10 months of 1995. We urge AI to stop describing PKK-led terrorism as a war, and criticizing Turkey", a Turkish Foreign Ministry press release said yesterday. Recalling an AI report on PKK abductions in the Southeast of Turkey released on December 8, the Foreign Ministry said: "While giving an objective impression by denouncing PKK activities, AI accuses Turkish security forces of violating human rights, and describes the kidnapped people as prisoners of war". The Foreign ministry also criticized AI for indirectly supporting the PKK. /Cumhuriyet/

    END

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