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Center-Leftist Asked to Form Government

World IN BRIEF / TURKEY

December 03, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

A week after Turkey's government collapsed, the president asked a center-left political veteran to form a new administration. Ex-Premier Bulent Ecevit, 73, who leads the fourth-largest party in parliament, would head Turkey's fifth government since 1995, which will face the prospect of being dissolved after parliamentary elections in less than five months. The job of forming a government usually goes to the leader of the largest party in parliament--in this case Recai Kutan of the pro-Islamic Virtue Party. But Kutan wasn't asked. Turkey's powerful secular military opposes an Islamic-led government, and three parties had said they would not share power with Kutan's party, leaving him no chance of surviving a confidence vote had he been named.

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