April 20, 1999 |
In December 1978, Turkey's Kahramanmaras province exploded in street fighting between left-wing and right-wing extremists that set the stage for a 1980 military coup and haunted the country for years. Most of the violence was blamed on an ultranationalist paramilitary group, the Gray Wolves. Now, after decades on the fringes of Turkey's turbulent politics, the Gray Wolves have made a leap into the mainstream.
April 18, 1999 |
"Welcome, welcome, our brave prime minister!" chanted thousands of Turks assembled for a recent campaign rally in this Mediterranean resort city. "Let the ones who don't love you die!" The man they came to hear is an unlikely hero. Bulent Ecevit, 73, was often dismissed as a political has-been when the top government job fell into his lap three months ago after a bribery scandal brought down his predecessor.
March 23, 1999 |
The beleaguered Islamist movement in Turkey came under further pressure Monday as this capital's chief prosecutor, Nuh Mete Yuksel, sought the closure of the pro-Islamic Virtue Party, saying it is seeking to overturn the country's secular constitution and to introduce Islamic rule. The move to ban Virtue is in line with a sustained military-led campaign to crush political Islam, which remains the nation's most vibrant and popular movement.
February 23, 1999 |
Imprisoned rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan has provided interrogators with a detailed accounting of Greek aid to his Kurdish guerrilla group, a Turkish newspaper reported Monday. According to Hurriyet, a daily with close ties to the Turkish security establishment, Ocalan has told prosecutors that Greek support for his Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, was long-term and substantial and included rockets and other arms.
February 18, 1999 |
A day after bringing Abdullah Ocalan home to face trial, Turkey on Wednesday sought to turn the capture of the Kurdish warlord into a demoralizing rout of his cause, sending troops against his insurgents' strongholds in northern Iraq and airing a videotape of the macho orator looking ill, dispirited and barely able to speak.
December 21, 1998 |
Prime Minister-designate Bulent Ecevit warned political rivals that his failure to form a government probably will return the Islamist opposition to power. He predicted that the collapse of his talks with bickering parliamentary rivals over forming a coalition government could bring back the Islamists, who were forced out of power 18 months ago by the powerful military.
December 20, 1998 |
Prime Minister-designate Bulent Ecevit said Saturday that he had given up the attempt to form a government he began three weeks ago after the fall of Turkey's conservative-led coalition amid accusations of corruption. The state-run Anatolian news agency said veteran leftist Ecevit announced that he would hand back the mandate to President Suleyman Demirel on Monday after Tansu Ciller's conservatives told him that they definitely would not back his efforts. "After that I telephoned the president.
November 26, 1998 |
The government of conservative Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz collapsed Wednesday after losing a no-confidence vote in parliament, plunging the country into a fresh period of political uncertainty. Yilmaz's minority coalition with leftist leader Bulent Ecevit fell after lawmakers voted 314-214 against it. Shortly after the vote, Yilmaz submitted his formal resignation to President Suleyman Demirel. Yilmaz will remain in office as caretaker premier until a new government is formed.
November 13, 1998 |
The government of conservative Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz edged closer to collapse Thursday after a key political leader withdrew his support from Turkey's ruling minority coalition over its alleged role in a corruption scandal. Leftist opposition leader Deniz Baykal, whose parliamentary backing is crucial to the government's survival, signed a no-confidence motion against Yilmaz in the wake of allegations that the premier had helped a Turkish real estate magnate acquire a state-owned bank.
August 31, 1998 |
The new army chief has vowed to keep up the battle against Islamic fundamentalism in Turkey, quashing widespread speculation that, under his command, the rigidly pro-secular armed forces would take a softer approach to the resurgent Islamist movement and keep out of politics. Gen.